A CBS News investigation has found that at least one foreign company with close ties to its government has been giving generously to the foundation run by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.
Since its founding, the Clinton Foundation has invested millions each year for work in fighting AIDS and empowering women, but its recent uptick in donations from foreign governments has been raising questions about the potential influence on Hillary Clinton, as she gets ready to run for president.
The foundation has raised at least $42 million from foreign governments – and according to an analysis by CBS News – at least $170 million from foreign entities and individuals.
One donor – Rilin Enterprises- pledged $2 million in 2013 to the Clinton Foundation’s endowment. The company is a privately-held Chinese construction and trade conglomerate and run by billionaire Wang Wenliang, who is also a delegate to the Chinese parliament. Public records show the firm has spent $1.4 million since 2012, lobbying Congress and the State Department. The firm owns a strategic port along the border with North Korea and was also one of the contractors that built the Chinese embassy in Washington.
That contract is a direct tie to the Chinese government, according to Jim Mann, who has written several books on China’s relationship with the U.S.
With “embassy construction, one of the most important tasks is making sure that there are no bugs there,” he said. “So you want to have the closest security and intelligence connections with and approval of the person or company that’s going to build your embassy.”