Liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs credited the new book “Clinton Cash” with exposing tactics by the Clinton Foundation that involved “schmoozing” and “crossing lines.”
Appearing on “Morning Joe” Friday, Sachs talked about the “blurry lines” between the foundation, Bill Clinton’s paid speeches and Hillary Clinton’s work at the State Department, and revealed that “nobody liked it, and people saw it for years.”
The well-known philanthropist also told host Joe Scarborough that the Clinton money machine got in the way of relief for those who needed it the most, saying that money changing hands was “a huge distraction.”
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Let’s go to a guy that is certainly not on the far right and who knows a thing or two about charities across the world, Jeffrey Sachs. Jeffrey, how do you rate what Bill Clinton has done with his charity and with the money that all the massive millions and millions and millions of dollars that he’s raised?
JEFFREY SACHS: There is a lot of money sloshing around and everything is blurred, and it’s not good. And there is a lot here that is real. Whether it’s quid pro quos or not, who knows? But the amount of schmoozing involved and crossing lines and one person putting money in a foundation, and then Clinton getting unbelievable amounts for his speeches, and then contracts going one way or another, it’s not good. Those blurry lines have been seen by many people over the years. This books describes them. There’s something there.
SCARBOROUGH: I take it you mean many people in the charity field, the international relief field?
SACHS: Yeah, people that work in places like Haiti, for example, saw that this massive machine of State Department, Clinton Foundation, private businesses, money flowing this every in every direction, direction, Clinton getting awards with massive price tags that he charges, and then money going to the foundation, contracts going to the businesses that were giving the awards. Nobody liked it. Nobody liked it, and people saw it for years.
SCARBOROUGH: Did this money machine, in your opinion, ever get in the way of relief getting to the people who needed it the most?
SACHS: I think so. Because I think that it was a huge distraction from serious policy and serious direction, unfortunately. And that was a widespread feeling of many people that were involved in the relief operations as well, that this was not a serious approach. It was not a systemic approach. There were too many friends around, too many ad hoc plane flights in to do this deal or that deal, and there was not the systemic approach that one needs after a devastation. That’s the sad part of it. Just a lot of schmooze factor and a lot of money flowing without clear lines.