Explaining Hillary and the Clinton Foundation Donations

Julio Vincent Gambuto
2 min readOct 20, 2016

Everyone is writing that Hillary took money from countries that “hate gays” and “hate Jews.” Is this true? What does that mean?

Here’s the deal with that comment. It’s very misleading. Hillary can’t take money from foreign governments. (In fact, she can only take $2,700 from any one American citizen as a donation. That’s a lot for you and me, but that’s low for rich people. So there are what are called PACs or Super PACs — “Political Action Committees” — that citizens create to raise money for the candidates and fund commercials, etc. If those citizens are wealthy, they can contribute a lot of money to those committees. There’s a big Supreme Court case that Hillary talked about last night that involves this. But it still exists.) So, she doesn’t get money from any foreign government. She can’t. Neither can Trump. Their campaigns literally can’t accept it, and foreign countries know that, so they don’t donate.

What Trump was really talking about is the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation was started by Bill Clinton after he was President. Here’s what I found last night that explains the specific donations. See below. Basically Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to help build the Clinton presidential library — the same amount they gave for the Bush library. So there’s nothing really that weird about that.

What Trump is trying to do is make it look like Hillary takes money from people who hate women and gays. The problem is that the Foundation literally helps millions of women and children around the world and here at home. And they’ve helped over 9 million people with AIDS get lower-cost medication — men, women, kids, gays, everyone. So what he’s really trying to do is put Saudi Arabia and women and gays all in the same sentence so that people freak out.

About the donations, from PolitiFact:

“It’s now possible to look up donation amounts on the Clinton Foundation’s website. Using Trump’s Saudi Arabia example, Saudi Arabia shows up as having given between $10 million and $25 million since the foundation started. When it began in 1997, the foundation’s main goal was to build the Clinton presidential library, although it left open the option to “engage in any and all other charitable, educational and scientific activities” that nonprofits are allowed to do under federal law.

The Washington Post reported that Saudi Arabia gave about $10 million to build the library. (According to the Post, the Saudis gave a similar amount to the George H.W. Bush library.) After the library donation, the Saudis gave very little and stopped giving entirely during the time Clinton was secretary of state. She stepped down in early February 2013.”

More reading:



Julio Vincent Gambuto

Author of “Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!” // Now available in US and UK // juliovincent.com