Donald Trump launched a new allegation at Hillary Clinton Tuesday, accusing her of having “laundered” money through a for-profit university while she was secretary of state. When previously Clinton accused Trump.
In a rapid-response email blast sent during Clinton’s speech attacking Trump’s economic proposals, the billionaire’s campaign accused the former secretary of state of funneling government money to Laureate Education, a for-profit chain of universities that employed Bill Clinton as honorary chancellor until April 2015.
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The former president made $16.5 million over his five years in that position while his wife added Laureate to the State Department Global Partnership. Trump alleges the Department of State awarded $55.2 million in grants to Laureate, an accusation that is not quite accurate since there is no indication that State Department money flowed directly to the for-profit education chain. According to Bloomberg, the $55.2 million in State Department and USAID grant money actually went to the International Youth Foundation, a non-profit group headed by Laurate Education Chairman Douglas Becker.
That same Bloomberg investigation showed that the IYF received $9 million in State Department grants in 2009, the year before Bill Clinton joined Laureate.
The number jumped to $15.1 million in 2010, Bill Clinton’s first year with Laureate, and ballooned to $25.5 million in grants in 2012.Donald Trump’s campaign’s rapid-response staffers kicked into full swing, blasting Hillary Clinton before her speech.
“This is yet another example of how Clinton treated the State Department as her own personal hedge fund, and sold out the American public to fund her lavish lifestyle,” Trump’s email read. “Laureate made money by racking up student debt on vulnerable students.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign responded by pointing to IYF’s history of working with the State Department and USAID that dates back to the George W. Bush administration.
“This is yet another false allegation from Donald Trump,” Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin said. “The International Youth Foundation was funded by the Bush administration, well before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. In fact, the non-profit’s USAID funding actually went down in the year that she arrived at the State Department, not up.”
While Trump’s specific allegation of money laundering is new, accusations of an improper relationship between the Clintons, State Department, and Laureate are not. The connections between the three were originally published in the 2015 book “Clinton Cash” by Peter Schweizer and reported on by Bloomberg and Inside Higher Education. At the time, Laureate denied the accusations, and said that IYF was “an independent non-profit organization; not an affiliate of Laureate.”
Trump contrasted Clinton’s troubled ties to Laureate Education with his own Trump University, where the email said the candidate “has created an incredible learning experience for students.” Like Trump University, Laureate was the subject of a class-action fraud lawsuit, although that case was later dismissed.