In Africa, former President Bill Clinton sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC’s Cynthia McFadden on the work of the Clinton Foundation and the controversy over it in light of wife Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Here are our fivetakeaways from the interview:
1. “There’s one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else”: Bill Clinton argued that there’s a double standard in American politics where there’s so much scrutiny on the Clinton Foundation’s donors (most of whom are disclosed) than the donations to dark-money organizations like, say, the Koch Brothers’ organizations (which aren’t disclosed). “All I’m saying is the idea that there’s one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else is true,” Clinton said. “The guy that filled out the [990 tax] forms made an error,” he added. “Now that is a bigger problem, according to the press, than the other people running for president willing to take dark money, secret money, secret from beginning to end.”
2. No quid pro quos: Also in the interview, Clinton maintained that Foundation donations or speaker fees haven’t influenced government policy. “There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy,” he said. “That just hasn’t happened.” He also quoted his wife telling him, “No one has ever tried to influence me by helping you.” (FYI: Conservative outlets will have a field day with Clinton’s “knowingly inappropriate” line.)
3. Clinton might step down from the Clinton Foundation if Hillary becomes president: Clinton entertained the idea of stepping down from the Clinton Foundation if wife Hillary wins the White House.
MCFADDEN: If your wife is elected president, will you step down from the foundation?
BILL CLINTON: Well, I’ll decide. If– if it’s the right thing to do, I will… MCFADDEN: I mean, why might you step down if she were elected president? CLINTON: Well, I might if I were asked to do something in the public interest that I had an obligation to do. Or I might take less of an executive role. I mean, I really– I work at this. And I’m involved in this as you can see. So I might do that. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Read more: NBC News