More bad news for the Clintons. With Hillary’s presidential campaign slipping in the polls against Sen. Bernie Sanders and facing a potential fresh challenge from Vice President Joe Biden, six giants of the corporate world are bailing out on the Clinton Global Initiative.
On Sept. 26, CGI, a branch of the Clinton Foundation, convenes its 11th annual meeting with a star-studded cast. Bill and Chelsea Clinton will be joined by Ashley Judd, Charlize Theron, Edward Norton, Ted Danson, Tina Brown, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates and George Soros. What will be missing is more than a million dollars from a who’s who of corporate behemoths that sponsored the meeting last year. Six high-profile firms ended their cash donations, to be replaced with only one similar high-profile corporate donor so far.
USA TODAY has confirmed that sponsors from 2014 that have backed out for this yearinclude electronics company Samsung, oil giant ExxonMobil, global financial firms Deutsche Bank and HSBC, and accounting firm PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). Hewlett-Packard, which just announced major layoffs, will be an in-kind donor instead of a cash contributor, and the agri-chem firm Monsanto has cut back its donation. Dow‘s name is missing from the donor list as well, but the chemical company’s exit is not confirmed.
High-profile corporations might not be the only key supporters backing away from association with the Clinton family’s charitable arm. In 2014, eight national leaders, kings, presidents and prime ministers, appeared on the program for CGI’s annual meeting, including the president of the United States and the prime minister of Japan. This year, only leaders from Colombia and Liberia are currently on the program.
The Obama administration is backing away as well. In 2014, the cabinet officials heading the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Commerce, as well as key White House adviser Valerie Jarrett spoke at the conference. This year no Obama administration appointees as prominent are on the program.
In emails, Craig Minassian, chief communications officer of CGI, said that more speakers and sponsors are yet to be announced. The event will be attended by nearly two dozen heads of state. “Revenue is actually slightly better than last year … so there isn’t a decline in support,” he wrote.
Read more: USA Today