In 1993, Terry McAuliffe authored a memo that would essentially turn the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House into a hotel for top campaign donors. It would "be an excellent opportunity to energize our key people for the upcoming year," McAuliffe wrote. Now McAuliffe, who is currently the governor of Virginia, is defending the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation's acceptance of foreign cash.
"If the biggest attack on Hillary’s going to be that she raised too much money for her charity, okay, I’ll take that," McAuliffe told the Washington Post. "No one’s alleging anything beyond that she raised money and people gave her money and foreign governments gave her money. At the end of the day, that’s fine. It went to a charity. It helped a lot of people."
The longtime Clinton ally's comments are in response to the Wall Street Journal reporting, "The Clinton Foundation has dropped its self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments and is winning contributions at an accelerating rate, raising ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency."
But, as the memo shows, McAuliffe might not be the best person to talk abour responsible fundraising.
As CNN reported in 1997, "Clinton, who was asked about the White House sleepovers during a drug control briefing, said that in early 1995, a lot of friends who helped get him elected in 1992 thought he had not kept in touch with them. Clinton said then-national campaign fund-raiser Terence McAuliffe sent him a memorandum, suggesting what they ought to do to re-establish contact, and Clinton said he told him to proceed."
"The documents show that Clinton scribbled his enthusiastic approval for the overnight stays on the McAuliffe memorandum, which recommended that major financial supporters be invited to meals, coffees, rounds of golf or jogging excursions."
Here's the memo:
As the New York Times reported in 1998, many people took advantage of this program. "Trying to lance suspicions, the White House released a list of 938 overnight guests. Among them, they had contributed $10,176,840, an average of $10,849, although many gave nothing."
CNN helped break down the donors:
In other words, McAuliffe might not be the best defender of the Clintons' fundraising practices.
Daniel Halper is author of Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine.