The New York Times’ editorial board on Tuesday joined the ranks of those left-leaning entities calling for Hillary Clinton to do much more to separate herself from the Clinton Foundation. While the Times doesn’t go as far as the editorial boards of the Boston Globe and USA Today, both of which have called for the Clintons to temporarily shutter their nonprofit if Hillary is elected, the Gray Lady makes it clear that the status quo—which would allow corporations and foreign entities to continue to cut big-dollar checks right up until Election Day—is a serious ethical problem:
A wiser course would be to ban contributions from foreign and corporate entities now. If Mrs. Clinton wins, Bill and Chelsea Clinton should both end their operational involvement in the foundation and its affiliates for the duration of her presidency, relinquishing any control over spending, hiring and board appointments. …
The Clinton Foundation has become a symbol of the Clintons’ laudable ambitions, but also of their tangled alliances and operational opacity. If Mrs. Clinton wins, it could prove a target for her political adversaries. Achieving true distance from the foundation is not only necessary to ensure its effectiveness, it is an ethical imperative for Mrs. Clinton.
That, of course, was met with obvious glee in Trump Tower. Here is the official reaction from Donald Trump’s campaign, via a prepared statement from spokesman Jason Miller:
The fact that even the liberal New York Times thinks the Clinton Foundation presents an unacceptable conflict of interest is a devastating rebuke of Hillary Clinton’s poor judgment and broken ethical compass. At a minimum, Hillary Clinton should heed the growing calls for her corrupt foundation to cease accepting foreign and corporate contributions immediately.
The fact Trump is citing the Times editorial board as some sort of righteous arbiter on a presidential candidate’s conduct is a bit rich. Consider for a second the many words of criticism written by that very same entity about Trump in the past month alone:
Aug. 1, “Donald Trump Ducks Tax Disclosure”:
The voters deserve to know what Mr. Trump is hiding, particularly considering his history of bankruptcies, the government investigations of Trump University and other dodgy parts of his branded universe. As the campaign rolls toward the fall, pressure will grow on Mr. Trump to be far more transparent than he has been. Responding with another pithy tweet won’t do.
Aug. 2, “Mr. Trump and Spineless Republicans”:
Just when it seems that Donald Trump could not display more ignorance and bad judgment or less of a moral compass, he comes up with another ignominy or two. This weekend he denigrated the parents of a fallen American military hero and suggested that if elected he might recognize Russia’s claims to Ukraine and end sanctions.
Aug. 8, “Mr. Trump’s Losing Economic Game Plan”:
Donald Trump said on Monday that he wanted to usher in “economic renewal,” but most of his proposals would hurt the economy, rack up huge deficits, accelerate climate change and leave the country isolated from the world.
Aug. 9, “Further Into the Muck With Mr. Trump”:
Seldom, if ever, have Americans been exposed to a candidate so willing to descend to the depths of bigotry and intolerance as Mr. Trump. That he would make Tuesday’s [“Second Amendment people”] comment amid sinking poll numbers and a wave of Republican defections suggests that when bathed in the adulation of a crowd, Mr. Trump is unable to control himself.
Aug. 11, “An Even Stranger Donald Trump”
Right now Mr. Trump is losing, and this very likely terrifies him. Maybe he doesn’t know how to control himself, or comprehend why he should. Or he is simply satisfying his boundless need for attention. But his behavior this week raises a more disturbing scenario. Perhaps he has given up on winning through civil means and does not care about the consequences of his campaign of incitement.
Aug. 13, “Donald Trump Courts the Gun Zealots”:
Whether calculated or clumsy, Mr. Trump’s ugly pronouncement left a whiff of lethal intimidation in the air. It marked a singular moment of desperation in his presidential campaign—but also created grounds for the nation to demand a rational, substantive campaign debate on gun safety that gets beyond Mr. Trump’s inflammatory sound bites.
Aug. 16, “Mr. Trump’s Foreign Policy Confusions”:
Far from coherent analysis of the threat of Islamic extremism and a plausible blueprint for action, the speech was a collection of confused and random thoughts that showed little understanding of the rise of the Islamic State and often conflicted with the historical record.
Aug. 20, “How Can America Recover From Donald Trump?”:
It could be that the polls are right, and Mr. Trump will go down in flames. But while that will solve an immediate problem, a larger one will remain. The message of hatred and paranoia that is inciting millions of voters will outlast the messenger. The toxic effects of Trumpism will have to be addressed.
Aug. 22, “Donald Trump Cues Up Another Conspiracy”:
Mr. Trump’s brain is a pincushion for conspiracy theories, so maybe it’s no surprise that he thinks the Clinton campaign will be sending African-Americans and foreigners into booths across the country to fake their votes over and over, millions of times. Now, more than ever, the country needs responsible political leaders and the courts to defend and expand voting rights, rather than sitting silently while Mr. Trump further demolishes public confidence in the foundations of our government.
Trump is right: The New York Times’ editorial board is worth listening to.
Also in Slate:
- The Clinton Foundation Will Not Accept Foreign Donations if Hillary Wins. That’s Not Good Enough.
- The Clinton Foundation Is Not a Scandal. It’s a Phenomenal, Life-Saving Success.