Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s claim that the $6 billion the Department of State lost was “debunked” contradicts multiple investigations and audits by the agency’s watchdog.
“When you ran the State Department, $6 billion was missing,” Republican nominee Trump said during Wednesday’s final presidential debate. “How do you miss $6 billion? Six billion dollars was either stolen, they don’t know. It’s gone.”
Clinton replied: “Well, first of all, what he just said about the State Department is not only untrue, it’s been debunked numerous times.”
But it was the State Department’s Inspector General (IG) who found in three investigations and two audits that an estimated $6 billion was lost to contract mismanagement, fraud and incompetence during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. (RELATED: “Clinton’s State Department Blew $6 Billion In Contracts, And We’re About To Learn Why”)
A 2014 IG alert summarizing the reports showed that State Department officials lost contract files and maintained incomplete contract files, which exposed taxpayers “to substantial financial losses.”
Those failures create “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 wrote. “It impairs the ability of the department to take effective and timely action to protect its interests and, in turn, those of taxpayers. Finally, it limits the ability of the government to punish and deter criminal behavior.”
The non-profit government watchdog group Cause of Action Institute recently filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the full text of the IG’s reports, because only summaries were previously made public.
Washington Post “Fact-Checker” Glenn Kessler – who linked to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s story on the IG report – sought in the wake of Trump’s first citing of the $6 billion loss to discredit the GOP nominee’s claim, arguing that “paperwork was missing, not dollars” and most of the losses occurred during the Bush administration.
But the IG’s point was that missing contract paperwork — which, as TheDCNF reported, federal law required State Department officials to maintain — resulted in “substantial financial losses.” The IG also said “many of these cases arose during the tenure of Secretary Hillary Clinton” and nothing was being done to correct the problems she inherited from her predecessor in 2009.
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