“As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton laundered money to Bill Clinton through Laureate Education, while Bill Clinton was an honorary chairman of the group. Clinton’s State Department provided $55.2 million in grants to Laureate Education from 2010-2012. Laureate thanked Bill for providing unbelievable access to the Secretary of State by paying him off $16.5 million. This is yet another example of how Clinton treated the State Department as her own personal hedge fund, and sold out the American public to fund her lavish lifestyle.”
–Donald Trump campaign, email response to Hillary Clinton’s speech, June 21, 2016
The Trump campaign sent out a series of email and Twitter responses during Hillary Clinton’s speech attacking his business record, and among them was this claim that came to our attention. As usual, the Trump campaign did not respond to our request for supporting information. During his speech the next day attacking Clinton’s record as secretary of state, Trump repeated the charge that Clinton treated the State Department as her “personal hedge fund” with no evidence to back it up, either.
This talking point traces back to information from Peter Schweizer’s book, “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.” In one chapter, in discussing Bill Clinton’s role with Laureate Education, Inc., Schweizer describes a “Clinton blur” between the activities of Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. But critics, including Schweizer, have not been able to prove quid pro quo.