While most of the media attention has gone to the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal, Rand Paul seized upon what may be the bigger problem for the Clintons — their family foundation and its foreign backers. Paul attacked Hillary for accepting big cash influxes from regimes that oppress women far more than her protestations over pay equity in the US (a subject on which her hypocrisy is nearly infinite). Those connections between the Clinton Foundation and countries such as Brunei and Saudi Arabia are “unconscionable,” Paul declared, and recommended that the foundation give the cash back, the Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports from an interview in the Courier-Journal:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a likely 2016 presidential contender, is calling on Hillary Clinton to return donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments, calling it “unconscionable” given the records of some of the governments on women’s rights. …
“These are countries with policies that are horrific towards women’s rights, and I think it’s unconscionable that Hillary Clinton is accepting donations from them,” Paul said, noting instances of women raped, given lashes and stoned to death in those countries.
“The Constitution says you’re not supposed to take gifts from foreign countries. I think she should return them,” Paul told The Washington Post and NH1 News. Asked whether he was calling on the former secretary of State or the Clinton Foundation to return the gifts, Paul said, “Tell me the difference.”
Paul is seizing on the most problematic of subjects for the Clintons, one that has percolated in the media but not yet reaching the same pitch as the secret e-mail system. For a lot of voters, the issues of e-mail, accountability, and oversight will sound like Beltway process issues; they’ll reinforce the perception of arrogance from the Clintons, but it’s smoke without the fire. Taking millions of dollars from oppressive regimes for the family foundation, one that served to employ operatives like Dennis Cheng in between campaigns, is the actual fire.
Of course, people can certainly pursue both scandals, and as Ron Fournier has written on occasion, they may well be connected. Paul’s right to work to keep this part of the Clintons’ ethical morass in the center spotlight, though, as it speaks more clearly to Hillary Clinton’s character and integrity, especially when it comes to “war on women” demagoguery.