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Trail Mix: Clinton's shaky Foundation, Trump's questionable staffers

click to enlarge Donations to The Clinton Foundation are raising questions about access to the Democratic candidate for president.
  • Donations to The Clinton Foundation are raising questions about access to the Democratic candidate for president.

SHAKY FOUNDATION

A new trove of emails from HILLARY CLINTON's State Department aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, requested by the conservative organization Judicial Watch, reveals just how often donors to the Clinton Foundation sought access to the State Department while she was Secretary of State. One billionaire donor, for example, wanted to be put in touch with the ambassador to Lebanon — and a Clinton Foundation executive tried to make it happen.

Last week, Bill Clinton announced that if his wife is elected president, he'd step down from the Clinton Foundation board and would stop accepting corporate and foreign donations to the foundation. This sparked a flurry of criticism: Why wait until Hillary wins, some observers wondered. Others made the point that if there would be a conflict of interest with the foundation if Hillary became president, then surely there was a conflict of interest back when Hillary was Secretary of State.

Some writers, including those at liberal websites, have made the case that Clinton should shutter the foundation entirely.

"If their donors are truly being driven only by altruism — and not by access — there is no reason they wouldn't find another nonprofit for their charitable contributions during the next four or eight years," wrote Slate writer Josh Voorhees. (DANIEL WALTERS)

STAFF MANAGEMENT

You might think that staffers on a presidential campaign would keep conspiracy theories or religiously inflammatory comments off of social media. But as the Associated Press recently discovered, several staffers on DONALD TRUMP's campaign have no such reservations.

A social media review of more than 50 Trump campaign employees found that at least seven had made posts that were racially or religiously inflammatory, and often supportive of violence and hostile to Muslims.

One staffer shared a post that called Islam a "barbaric cult," then shared a meme proposing that people should be forced to eat bacon before purchasing firearms. Another linked to a website that accused the U.S. government of assassinating Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Yet another staffer shared an essay declaring that Muslims — simply because they are Muslim — are incapable of being good Americans. (She later admitted that she wouldn't have posted the essay if she had read the whole thing.)

None of these posts came from top officials in the Trump campaign. The AP also reviewed social media posts from Hillary Clinton's campaign staffers and found "nothing of note," other than one employee who said that Trump talked like someone who had taken too many hallucinogenic mushrooms. (WILSON CRISCIONE)

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