Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine told WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday that former President Bill Clinton is "entitled" to the money he has made through his private business endeavors and work with the Clinton Global Initiative.
The reporter referenced a 2011 memo written by Clinton confidante Doug Band. The memo, which used the term "Bill Clinton Inc," reveals the financial flows between the Clinton Foundation, Band’s firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family’s private business opportunities, the Washington Free Beacon reported this week.
The Band memo also provides additional details on the specific relationships between his consulting clients, which include multinational corporations and deep-pocketed foundations, and the Clinton family's business and charitable efforts.
Band sent the memo to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, then the president of the left-wing Center for American Progress, in a November 2011 email. It was one of thousands released by WikiLeaks after hackers believed to be acting in concert with the Russian government breached Podesta's email account.
At the time the memo was written, Bill Clinton had four existing business "arrangements," Band wrote. "We secured all of them; and, we have helped manage and maintain all of his for-profit business relationships."
"It appears that while funds were being solicited for the foundation, they were also being secured for Bill Clinton's private enrichment. Is that appropriate?" the WBNS reporter asked Kaine in an interview flagged by the Washington Times.
Kaine justified Clinton's moneymaking practices by saying that most presidents do well financially after they leave office.
"Well, look, he's a president and is entitled. Most presidents do very, very well when they leave office, so there's no difference between Bill Clinton and others in that regard," Kaine said.
"The issue I really think about the foundation [is] does the foundation do good work or not?" Kaine continued. "Does CGI [Clinton Global Initiative] do good work or not? And these independent groups that assess charities give CGI even higher rating than charities like the American Red Cross, and the effect of the work they have and the fact that they spend 90 percent of their money on direct services and no Clinton gets a salary from the foundation.
"I think the real issue about the foundation is whether the foundation does good work, and the answer is that it does," Kaine added.