Clinton says controversies behind her; Trump begs to differ

August 26, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Clinton vigorously defended her family’s foundation against Donald Trump’s criticism on Friday and declared she’s confident there will be no new blockbuster accusations on the foundation, her emails or anything else that could undermine her chances of defeating him in November. 460x (1)

She said the private Clinton Foundation’s charitable programs would continue if she’s elected, even as Trump and other critics argue they would present a conflict of interest.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the Democratic presidential nominee kept up her verbal assault on Trump’s campaign, asserting it is built on “prejudice and paranoia” and caters to a radical fringe of the Republican Party.

Clinton is looking to counter Trump’s attempts to win over moderate voters who have been unsettled by his controversial remarks and policy proposals. In the meantime, he has been softening his tone on immigration and reaching out to African-Americans, a traditional Democratic constituency.

Clinton is also targeting moderate voters — and especially Republicans — by depicting Trump and his supporters as extremists, and casting the race as “not a normal choice between a Republican and a Democrat.” She has contrasted Trump with former Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Bob Dole, and former President George W. Bush, praising their decisive steps to counter racism and anti-Muslim sentiment.

In turn, Trump is trying to paint Clinton as the racist.

He has released an online video that includes footage of the former first lady referring to some young criminals as “super predators” in the 1990s. The video also shows Clinton’s former Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, denouncing the phrase as “a racist term.” Clinton has since apologized for using the term.

Trump tweeted Friday: “How quickly people forget that Crooked Hillary called African-American youth “SUPER PREDATORS” – Has she apologized?”

Trump also says Clinton is trying to distract from questions swirling around donations to The Clinton Foundation and her exclusive use of her private email servers for official business while secretary of state.

In her phone interview, Clinton was asked if she was certain there are no emails or foundation ties to foreign entities that would impact her presidential prospects. She replied, “I am sure,” and mentioned her strong understanding about the foundation’s work.

But neither issue appears to be going away soon.

This week, the State Department said it is reviewing nearly 15,000 previously undisclosed emails recovered as part of an FBI inquiry that did not result in charges concerning Clinton’s use of a private server. The messages could become public in mid-October, just weeks before Election Day.

Also this week, The Associated Press reported that more than half the people from outside government who met or spoke by telephone with Clinton in the first half of her term as secretary of state had given money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the foundation.

Former President Bill Clinton said last week that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, the foundation will no longer accept foreign or corporate donations. He also said he would step down from its board and would no longer raise money for the organization.

On Friday, she promised to put in place additional safeguards to prevent conflicts of interest with her foundation should she win the White House.

“I appreciate the concerns that people have expressed, and that’s why I have made it clear that if I’m successful in November we are going to be taking additional steps,” she said. She said the foundation’s charitable programs has been “in line with American interests and values” and must continue, perhaps through partnerships with other organizations.

Top Republicans have found common ground with Trump in his criticism of the Clinton Foundation and her use of the email server. But they have been noticeably quiet in defending Trump against Clinton’s charges of racism in his campaign.