WaPo Fact Checkers: Hillary’s State Department Didn’t LOSE $6 Billion, It Just Couldn’t MANAGE $6 Billion

Thomas Phippen | Reporter

The Washington Post gave GOP nominee Donald Trump “Four Pinocchios” for claiming Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lost $6 billion while she was secretary of state.

The paper stated that the money itself was not missing, just the paperwork that documents where the money went.

Clinton “lost as much as $6 billion in taxpayer money while she was running the State Department,” Trump said at a Panama City, Fla., rally Tuesday. “Now, some people say it was misplaced. Oh, billions of dollars misplaced.”

“The only thing ‘lost’ in Trump’s statement is reality,” the Washington Post concluded.

Trump’s claim was based on audits and investigations by Office of the Inspector General, which in 2014 found that “significant contract file management deficiencies in Department contracts/task orders with a total value of more than $6 billion.”

The mismanagement first came to light in 2014 when OIG sent an “alert” that summarized several audits and investigations into contracts between 2008 and 2014. Clinton was secretary of state from January 2009 to January 2013.

To say that the money is missing is misleading, Steve Linick, the inspector general at the Department of State told WaPo in 2014, and the audits “did not draw that conclusion.”

The alert looked “the failure to adequately maintain contract files — documents necessary to ensure the full accounting of U.S. tax dollars — ‘creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,'” Linick said.

Though the Department of State’s mismanagement created “significant financial risk” to taxpayer dollars, the $6 billion was not necessarily missing or wasted.

Improperly managing contracts creates “conditions conducive to fraud, as corrupt individuals may attempt to conceal evidence of illicit behavior by omitting key documents from the contract file,” the IG said in its alert.

The questions surrounding the $6 billion worth of contracts led Cause of Action Institute to file a Freedom of Information Act request in September for the full reports and audits of the contracts. (RELATED: Clinton’s State Department Blew $6 Billion In Contracts, And We’re About To Learn Why)

“The public has a significant interest in knowing whether the department implemented the recommendations the [IG] made in its previous reports … the requested records will further inform the public about the resolution of contract management problems with the Department of State,” Cause of Action said.

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