The Clinton Foundation says it will not return contributions it received from Harvey Weinstein, having already used those dollars to fund charitable programs. “We are a charity. Donations, these included, have been spent fighting childhood obesity and HIV/AIDS, combating climate change, and empowering girls and women, and we have no plans to return them,” the foundation said in a statement today.
Weinstein’s most recent contribution was made in 2014; estimates on the amount vary from $100,000 to $250,000. At either end of that spectrum, that makes Weinstein a relative minor compared to such mega-donors who, according to the foundation’s website, include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), Fred Eychaner and Alphawood Foundation, Frank Giustra of The Radcliffe Foundation, the Nationale Postcode Loterij, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and UNITAID among others.
Hillary Clinton last week broke her silence about the growing number of women claiming they were sexually harassed, assaulted or raped by the Hollywood producer who contributed mightily to Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid as a donor and as a bundler.
Clinton, dinged for waiting so many days after The New York Times published its bombshell report on Weinstein to denounce her major campaign donor, gave her first televised interview on the subject to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria; the money quote was unspooled on Tuesday:
“I was just sick. I was shocked. I was appalled. It was something that was just intolerable in every way,” Clinton began. “And, you know, like so many people who’ve come forward and spoken out, this was a different side of a person who I and many others had known in the past.”
In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, a number of Democratic senators and other party figures have announced they were contributing Weinstein’s contribution amounts to charitable organizations.
And in his interview with Clinton, Zakaria noted Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal called on people to give back the money Weinstein donated to them. “He donated money to you, directly and indirectly — would you give the money back?”
Responded Clinton, “Well, there’s no one to give it back to.”
She added: “What other people are saying, what my former colleagues are saying, is they’re going to donate it to charity, and of course I will do that. I give 10% of my income to charity every year. This will be part of that. There’s no – there’s no doubt about it.”