Needless to say, the gargantuan troll-like conflict of interest that arises as soon as the foundation of the leading candidate for the presidency of the United States begins accepting money from overseas is apparent to every sentient being on the planet except members of the Clinton family and the growing number of advisers, consultants, strategists, pollsters, groupies, allies, and hangers-on whose livelihood depends on that family’s political success. “These contributions,” the foundation said in a statement to the Journal, “are helping improve the lives of millions of people across the world, for which we are grateful.”
What I love about this statement is its flip shamelessness, the way in which its airy sentimental public relations gobbledygook is both a denial of what is obviously a corrupt practice and an implicit endorsement of it. I do not doubt for a moment that the Clinton flack who led the email chain that came up with this blistering retort to the Journal is indeed “grateful” for every single one of the donations that foreign governments are making to his organization, because life in Manhattan and North Caldwell, New Jersey, is very expensive and these kids are not going to be paying for college on their own you know. If a little charity on the part of his excellency Sultan Qaboos of Oman can help pay for the lake house in Connecticut and the monthly installment on that brand new Tesla you’ve been eyeing through the window of the store on 25th Street, well, what’s the harm? The programs you run—“transforming communities,” “creating partnerships of purpose,” devising other alliterative slogans—“improve the lives of millions of people across the world.” OK, maybe not “millions of people,” but certainly the lives of the oligarchs and monarchs and functionaries and foreign agents who sign checks to the Clintons and can count on reciprocity, not to mention the lives of one very special pair of grandparents, their beloved daughter, her husband (especially when Goldman Sachs is footing the bill for losses at his hedge fund), and beautiful Charlotte.