The State Department’s refusal to answer questions about the Clinton Foundation’s failure to disclose donors from foreign countries and corporations continued Monday.
State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke deflected many of the questions.
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Typically, the AP’s Matt Lee offers the most vocal and poignant line of questioning for Rathke. However, after stalling to answer Lee’s questions on whether the State Department had a problem with the Clinton Foundation, another reporter stepped up his critique.
"Jeff, what is the utility of an agreement or a Memorandum of Understanding—a commitment, if it is not adhered to?" Reuters’ Arshad Mohammed asked.
Mohammed refused to let Rathke duck the issue without a fight. He asked the spokesman the same question repeatedly.
"What is the usefulness of having a Memorandum of Understanding designed to avoid conflicts or interest or the appearance of conflicts of interests if it is not adhered to?" Mohammed asked again.
Rathke insinuated that the State Department did not take issue with the Clinton Foundation’s failure to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding. He said the foundation is taking steps to correct the actions.
"But what is the usefulness of an undertaking–a promise, that is not kept?"
Once again, the State Department suggested that the press trust the Clinton Foundation to fix the mistakes made and ensure no future errors occur. Rathke emphasized that there was no concrete evidence of direct influence coming from the donations.
"We are unaware of any undue influence," Rathke said.
"I’m talking about the failure of the Clinton Health Access Initiative to disclose on an annual basis from 2010 all new donors. They didn’t do it. They said they would do it. They publicly acknowledged that they didn’t do it. They publicly acknowledged that they were bound by the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding," Mohammed said.
"What is the usefulness of having a Memorandum of Understanding that is designed to promote transparency if the people who make the commitment to be transparent fail to do so?"
After the barrage of questions, a stunned and stuttering Rathke took the same question from Lee before concluding he would not speak further on the matter.
"I think I’ve said all I’m going to say," Rathke said.