US ex-president Bill Clinton sought to fend off criticism of his family foundation for taking money from foreign governments, some with questionable human rights records.
The former president, who spoke at a University of Miami event, was joined by his wife Hillary Clinton, who declined to discuss a separate controversy swirling around her use of private email only while working as secretary of state.
“We do get money from other countries. And some of them are in the Middle East,” Bill Clinton said.
“For example, the UAE gave us money. Do we agree with everything they do? No, but they’re helping us fight ISIS,” the ex-president added, referring to Islamic State fighters.
“You’ve got to decide, when you do this work, whether it will do more good than harm when someone helps you from another country,” explained Bill Clinton.
He argued that the money was used for humanitarian campaigns, and was well spent.
“My theory about all this is: disclose everything, and then let people make their judgments,” Clinton added.
“I believe we’ve done a lot more good than harm, and I believe this is a good thing. So I am going to tell you who gave us money and you are going to make your own decision.”
The Democratic Party’s presumed presidential frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, spoke for 20 minutes about women’s rights, and civil rights.
It was the first time the former secretary of state and former first lady, spoke publicly since the firestorm arose over her exclusive use of private email while serving as the top US diplomat in 2009-2013.
That practice may have contravened US government policy.
Pressure has mounted, particularly from Republican adversaries, for Clinton to release the entirety of her email correspondence, and the former secretary of state has said she asked for the communication to be released.
Team Clinton has been barraged by Republican accusations that she set up the private server system to prevent politically sensitive material from going public.