When Barack Obama nominated Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, he made her appointment contingent on her husband revealing the contributors to his foundation in order to avoid any questions about potential conflicts of interest. The foundation subsequently disclosed its donors– after refusing to list them for a decade– and it turned out they included many “governments, corporations and billionaires with their own interests in U.S. foreign policy”.
Yet try getting an answer now from the foundation about its donors. I’ve been trying all week to see if Gulnara Karimova (daughter of the dictator of Uzbekistan) or any companies she owns have given money to the foundation, and I can’t get a reply. I have heard from a source that Gulnara is a donor, directly or indirectly, but I don’t have any solid evidence of that. Either way, the foundation appears to be quite unwilling to honor its pledge of “openness.” It’s all in the tradition of the foundation’s titular head.
Note: Thanks to all the readers who wrote about the story. Many pointed me to sections of Gulnara’s website, like this one on propaganda. A number also noted that the picture on the site showing Gulnara with Bill Clinton mistakenly refers to the former president as “Senator Bill Clinton.” As one reader wrote to the magazine, “It would have been well for Mr. Silverstein to highlight this error, as it displays Karimova’s obvious unconcern to relay factual information.”