White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to categorically deny the allegations that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave preferential treatment to donors of the Clinton Foundation, even when asked point-blank by ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl to do so. (VIDEO: White House Refuses To Condemn Harry Reid’s Mitt Romney Lie)
KARL: Can you say categorically that no donors to the Clinton Foundation, nobody paying any honorarium to former president Bill Clinton received any favorable treatment from this administration or the State Department, including from the State Department when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state?
EARNEST: There had been a lot of talk of this memorandum of understanding that was signed prior to Secretary Clinton taking her office over in Foggy Bottom. This was a memorandum of understanding that did ensure that given the unique circumstances of her family—not every secretary of state came into office with a presidential level family foundation that was doing excellent work all across the world. There were some steps that were taken to ensure that she and her office were compliant with all of the existing ethical guidelines that were in place.
And in many places, this memorandum of understanding actually went beyond the baseline levels of those guidelines put in place, strict ethical requirements. I know there’s been a lot of accusations made about this, but not a lot of evidence. So the president continues to be extraordinarily proud of the work that Secretary Clinton did as secretary of state. But for the details of the accusations, I would refer you to Secretary Clinton’s campaign.
KARL: But I just asked what I thought was a pretty simple question: Can you assure us that there was absolutely no favorable treatment given to donors of the Clinton Foundation?
EARNEST: Again, Jon, what I’m saying is that there’s lots of accusations like this, but–
KARL: You can’t give me that assurance? That’s a pretty basic, I mean—
EARNEST: There’s nobody that’s marshaled any evidence to indicate this. So I don’t want be in a position of—
KARL: But you can tell me that it didn’t happen.
EARNEST: But again, I’m not sure there’s anybody that has any tangible evidence to indicate that it did. So I’m not going to be in a position here that every time someone raises a spurious claim, that I’m going to be the one to sit down here at say that it’s not true. What I can do is that I can say clearly what happened, which was that there was a memorandum of understanding that was put in place that went above and beyond the ethical guidelines that the federal government previously had in place.
And the president continues to be extraordinarily proud of the work that Secretary Clinton did as the Secretary of State. But for these specific accusations — that are presented without any evidence — I would refer you to the political types who are more well-versed in those kinds of things.