TIME Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton Comes Out in Force to Defend His Foundation

Clinton Global Initiative University
Larry Marano—Getty Images Former US President Bill Clinton attends the Clinton Global Initiative University at University of Miami on March 7, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

A response to a barrage of unflattering revelations in the press

Bill Clinton joined his allies in defending his family’s foundation in an open letter on Friday, emphasizing the charity’s philanthropic work in the face of criticism over its foreign donors and alleged entanglement in politics.

“It’s the political season in America, so the purpose and impact of the efforts your support makes possible has largely been ignored in recent coverage of the Foundation,” the former president said in his note. “But we are and always have been a non-partisan, inclusive foundation with lots of support from and involvement by people across the political spectrum and governments from right to left, all committed to our creative solutions-centered work.”

Clinton recounted in his note many of the charitable deeds the Foundation has accomplished around the world, including “helping smallholder farmers in Africa increase their yields” and supporting “women entrepreneurs in Latin America.” Nearly 10 million people in 70 countries have access to HIV/AIDS medicines through the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Clinton wrote.

“We will also continue to look for ways to improve our reporting systems so that we can operate as accurately, efficiently, and transparently as possible – a goal to which we have been committed since day one,” said Clinton in the note.

The Clintons’ allies have voiced their support of the family’s charity in recent days as well, with Foundation donor Jay Jacobs penning a blog post Thursday saying one reason voters should elect Hillary Clinton is her connection to the Foundation. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s previous presidential election and former advisor in President Clinton’s administration, wrote an op-ed published earlier this week in the Huffington Post defending the Foundation.

The Clinton Foundation has come under fire for accepting donations from foreign businesses and governments with business before the U.S. State Department, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. No specific evidence of intervention on behalf of donors has been found, though in several cases the foundation failed to abide by Clinton’s pledge to disclose all donors during her tenure.

Bill Clinton has also been criticized for giving speeches and making appearances that appear to benefit foundation supporters on the global stage. This week, the foundation came under further scrutiny when it was revealed that Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend and adviser of the Clintons, had a $10,000 a month job at the foundation doing unspecified work during the time he was providing Hillary Clinton with purported intelligence tips about activities of various political factions in Libya.

In recent weeks both Bill and Hillary, who is now running for president, have defended the foundation. Hillary said during an event in Iowa last week that she is “proud of the foundation,” and Bill said earlier this month in an interview with NBC that the charity has never done anything “knowingly inappropriate.”

TIME

Hillary Clinton Team Lays Out New Primary Blueprint

<> on May 27, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sits with a customer as she visits the Main Street Bakery on May 27, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.

The campaign is building, but slowly

Hillary Clinton will gradually ramp up her campaign throughout the summer, but it will be months before she turns completely to a more orthodox model replete with a packed public schedule of billboard events and the regular appearance of husband Bill and daughter Chelsea, top Clinton campaign officials said on Thursday.

The former Secretary of State will present a more detailed reasoning behind her candidacy at her first official campaign rally on June 13, top Clinton officials told reporters in a briefing at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters Thursday evening. Afterward, Clinton will begin holding larger speaking events in the primary states.

But Clinton will not significantly increase the pace of her campaigning for many months, and she will continue to hold the roundtable discussions that have marked the first six weeks of her presidential bid.

Read more: Hillary Clinton Faces the Limits of the Controlled Campaign

She will roll out more policy plans over the summer, but she will do it at a measured pace without any momentous announcements all at once. And while Chelsea and Bill will make an appearance at her June 13th announcement, campaign officials said the focus will be on Hillary in the coming months.

Clinton had originally planned to hold her official kickoff at the end of May, but the campaign pushed the rally back.

While Clinton and her top aides have insisted they plan to run a serious and competitive primary, her opponents former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lag far behind her in the polls, allowing the frontrunner freedom to run a campaign on her own terms.

Clinton’s schedule has so far included a couple of days each week or less of campaigning in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. She has held small-scale, roundtable discussions with a selected group of primary voters in Nevada, New Hampshire and Iowa that officials say allow her to connect with voters and frame her policy ideas.

Clinton’s relaxed pace of campaigning will slowly increase and will begin to include a broader mix of campaign events and venues.

The campaign officials said they hope to raise $100 million through the primary, discounting rumors about a $2-billion fundraising goal. The $100 million sum does not include donations raised by Priorities USA Action, the pro-Clinton super PAC.

Clinton’s aides insisted that the campaign has not been significantly damaged by criticism over the Clinton Foundation and her role at the State Department, saying that while those issues may rile up the Republican base, they do not register much with primary Democrats and Independents.

The campaign would not provide more details on the location for the June 13 event, but said that it would be a large, public event.

TIME Television

Kate McKinnon Shares Her Secret to Playing Hillary Clinton on SNL

The SNL star has her own approach to parodying Clinton

Kate McKinnon is perhaps the Saturday Night Live castmember tasked with the show’s biggest job in the next year: playing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. While speaking on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Comedy Actress Roundtable, McKinnon shared her secret on creating her Hillary.

“I wanted to play on the inherent contrast between a woman who is so driven and so hardened by her experiences and needs this, and also a little sweetie granny from the Midwest, just the juxtaposition of those two things,” said McKinnon.

McKinnon also recounted a stand-up routine that went so terribly that she wound up drinking at Hooters.

The actress joined Lena Dunham (Girls), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) for the roundtable, where some the year’s hottest television actresses discussed weighty topics such as racism and sexism in Hollywood while remaining unfiltered, frank and funny.

The full Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable can be seen on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter when it premieres Sunday, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m. ET/PT on Sundance TV and HollywoodReporter.com.

Check back Friday to watch interviews with Amy Schumer and Tracee Ellis Ross.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

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TIME fashion

This Is How Much Hillary Clinton’s Pantsuit Costs

Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the 2015 Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting award in Washington
© Joshua Roberts / Reuters—REUTERS Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the 2015 Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting award in Washington March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTR4UKB6

Dressing like a presidential hopeful is not cheap

As Hillary Clinton graces stage after stage during her 2016 presidential campaign, she’s sure to be wearing her signature look: the pantsuit.

Her campaign has even made light of her penchant for pantsuits by selling a t-shirt version of the trademark style. You can buy the “Everyday Pantsuit Tee” for $30.

The real thing will cost you a tad more, up to $1,400.

Jackets by designer Nina McLemore—who has sold Clinton many a pantsuit, according to Politico—will set buyers back between $500 and $1,000. Pants cost about $400.

The outspoken designer, who also dresses Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, is selling more than just clothes. She also encourages women to embrace fashion as a powerful communication tool.

“I personally think it’s hard for women to have charisma, where some men have it in spades. We can’t change the fact that we’re women, but we can put forth our best image for the result we want,” she told Politico.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina Shadow Dance In South Carolina

<> on May 27, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Joe Raedle—2015 Getty Images Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the South Carolina House Democratic Womens Caucus and the South Carolina Democratic Womens Council at their Third Annual Day in Blue in the Marriott hotel on May 27, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina echoed and opposed each other in South Carolina on Wednesday

At twin events in South Carolina on Wednesday, rivals Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina spoke about equal pay within hours of each other, each blaming the other’s party for not doing enough to fight for women’s rights in the workplace.

“I don’t think I’m letting you in on a secret when I say too many women still earn less than men on the job,” Clinton told a roomful of mostly South Carolina women. “We could fix this if Republicans would get on board.”

“Before the federal government or Hillary Clinton lecture others,” said Fiorina, “maybe they ought to look into their own offices or look into the seniority system and the federal government.”

Like doppelgangers parading on different sides of a funhouse mirror, Clinton and Fiorina echoed each other even in their opposition.

Clinton was speaking from inside the Columbia, S.C. Marriott hotel; Fiorina spoke from outside the same hotel a few hours earlier. Clinton gave a speech and took no questions; Fiorina bragged about how accessible a candidate she has been to the press compared with her Democratic counterpart. Clinton, a dominant frontrunner among the Democrats, never mentioned Fiorina; Fiorina’s event seemed planned specifically to antagonize the former secretary of state.

For Clinton, it was a chance to reconnect with South Carolina voters after badly losing the primary to Barack Obama in 2008. (During the last election, Bill Clinton appeared to write off Barack Obama’s victory in the state by comparing him with Jesse Jackson, another black candidate who never won.)

Fiorina, on the other hand, was shadowing Clinton, continuing her ceaseless criticism of the Democratic candidate in an effort to gain some much-needed attention in the press.

“Our events tomorrow are all open to the press,” Fiorina’s spokeswoman, Sarah Flores, wrote in an email to reporters Tuesday night, jabbing at the Clinton campaign. “And by ‘open press,’ we mean we’ll actually take questions.”

Clinton’s speech was one of the first true speeches of her campaign. She made a case for equal pay and forcefully criticized Republicans for not fully embracing an equal pay platform. She listed four specific measures to improve pay for women, including legislation that allows women to sue for wage discrimination, requiring pay transparency, and paid leave and flexible scheduling.

Clinton’s ideas aren’t new: she long advocated for equal pay legislation as senator of New York, and paid leave has become a fixture of liberal politicians’ platforms around the country. She repeated her claim that equal pay is “not a women’s issue, this is a family issue” and an American economic issue.

What is new to her candidacy, however, is Clinton’s sharp language for Republicans who she says are responsible for holding back similar legislation. Without mentioning any Republican presidential hopefuls by name, she mentioned Scott Walker’s comment that equal pay is a “bogus issue”—though she mistakenly called him a candidate, a declaration he has not yet made. Her other two jabs at Republicans were directed at Marco Rubio who said Congress was “wasting time worrying” about equal pay, and Rand Paul, who has said equal pay efforts remind him of the Soviet Union.

Fiorina said she “of course” supports equal pay for equal work, and said that a seniority system in the federal government “allows a man to watch pornography all day long in the federal government” and earn the same as “a woman sitting next to him trying to do a good job.”

Fiorina also claimed that Clinton does not pay women equally in her own office. The Clinton campaign has not yet released details about its expenditures and salaries. As a senator, Clinton paid women and men equally for the same jobs, according to figures released by her campaign and reviewed by PolitiFact.com.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Here’s What You Can Buy at Hillary Clinton’s Online Store

The Clinton campaign aims for hip in its new online store

Cheeky, chic, youth-oriented, red pantsuit t-shirt. These are words that describe the items in Hillary Clinton’s brand-new presidential campaign store—and the tone that Clinton wants to set in the race.

The frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination launched her online store Tuesday morning. The store—which offer clothes, bumper stickers, and signs—will allow Clinton both to sell goods to bankroll her campaign, and more important, to build out her email list for heavy-duty fundraising down the road.

The overall look of the store items will also help define Clinton’s image among voters.

Visitors to the store can find a $30 “pantsuit tee” with the Hillary logo, or a t-shirt with the words “women’s rights are human rights are women’s rights,” which echoes Clinton’s 1995 speech in Beijing. A $55-stitched pillow in the store says “A woman’s place is in the White House,” and a coffee mug has the words “Red, white and brew.”

Many of the items in Clinton’s store point to the young, hipper audience that the campaign hopes to attract. There’s a pint glass with the words “made from 100% shattered glass ceiling,” a hoodie, a “canvass canvas” bag and an I <3 Hillary tumbler.

All the products in the store are American made, according to a Clinton campaign official. The models in the photos are Clinton campaign staffers.

On Monday night, the campaign offered a preview of the store.

Campaign stores can be an important fundraising tool for candidates, particularly as the contest gets more competitive and more customers have given their contact information and candidates mine customer lists to raise donations. Rand Paul, a Republican candidate, has a campaign store already, as does fellow Republican Ted Cruz.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Unloads on GOP Over Export Bank

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a business roundtable at the Smuttynose Brewery with co-owner Peter Egelston May 22, 2015 in Hampton, New Hampshire.
Darren McCollester—Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a business roundtable at the Smuttynose Brewery with co-owner Peter Egelston May 22, 2015 in Hampton, New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton is out of patience for her Republican rivals and their opposition to an export-assistance program. But she still isn’t taking a position on a Pacific trade deal that has become politically linked to the Export-Import Bank’s renewal.

The Democratic Presidential candidate on Friday unloaded on her GOP foes, calling them cowards who do not make up their own minds and default to the loudest and most extreme voices in the party. The former Secretary of State told an invite-only crowd in Hampton, N.H.. that Americans’ jobs are in the balance, and Republicans would rather scuttle workers’ paychecks than to tell the truth about the Export-Import Bank, which provides financing for U.S. exports.

Clinton said the bank’s opponents are looking to score political points and are shameless panderers “who really should know better.” She did not single out any of her GOP rivals by name, but Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have all opposed keeping the agency around.

“Across our country, the Export-Import Bank supports up to 164,000 jobs,” Clinton said. “It is wrong that Republicans in Congress are trying to cut off this vital lifeline for American small businesses. … They would rather threaten the livelihoods of those 164,000 jobs rather than stand up to the tea party and talk radio.”

The agency is a favorite target of small-government tea party activists, who claim it is corporate welfare for giant corporations like Boeing. The bank has been a flashpoint for conservatives and it almost lost its charter in 2012 and again last year. Lawmakers secured a nine-month extension for the bank last year, but conservatives are pushing to let the lender’s authority expire this summer.

But complicating the delicate negotiations is a trade deal with Pacific nations that President Obama is seeking. Some Democrats—especially those in the party’s liberal wing—oppose the measure.

Clinton backed the trade deal when she was at the State Department but has remained uncommitted on the issue since she entered the presidential race. She says she wants to see the final terms of the deal before deciding to endorse it or not.

“We don’t yet know all the details,” Clinton told reporters on Friday. “I have some real concerns.”

She said she would need to be assured that currency manipulation is blocked, that the standards would be enforceable and that labor and environment protections are adequate.

“I’ve been for trade agreements. I’ve been against trade agreements. I’ve voted for some. I’ve voted against others,” she said. “I want to judge this when I see what exactly is in it.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

State Department Releases Hillary Clinton’s Emails on Benghazi

Hillary Clinton Campigns In Iowa, Meeting With Small Business Owners
Scott Olson—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosts a small business forum with members of the business and lending communities at the Bike Tech bicycle shop on May 19, 2015 in Cedar Falls, IA.

The State Department released hundreds of emails Friday that were stored on Hillary Clinton’s private server during her time as Secretary of State.

The emails, which pertain to the Benghazi terror attacks in September 2012, do not change the official assessment of the incident in which a U.S. ambassador was killed, the State Department said. “The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks, which have been known since the independent Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi attacks was released almost two and a half years ago,” wrote spokeswoman Marie Harf.

Clinton, who wants to avoid the controversy over her emails and Benghazi stretching into the primary and general election next year, told reporters in Hampton, N.H. on Friday that the released emails had previously been sent to the committee investigating the Benghazi attack in 2012. “I’m glad that the emails are starting to come out. It is something that I’ve asked to be done, as you know, for a long time. Those releases are beginning,” Clinton said.

But the release further complicates Clinton’s unusual set-up of using a personal email server for official use. Sensitive information and email addresses in dozens of emails have been redacted under privacy and exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act protecting internal agency deliberations.

According to a senior State Department official, 23 words in a single email were classified Friday at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The email was unclassified while it resided on Clinton’s server and when it was sent to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The official said the retroactive classification does not mean Clinton did anything improper at the time, adding “this happens several times a month” when FOIA reports are prepared for the public.

“I’m aware that the FBI has asked that a portion of one email be held back. That happens in this process,” Clinton said on Friday. “That doesn’t change the fact that all of the information in the emails was handled appropriately.”

The email in question is in reference to reports that Libyan police arrested several individuals believed to have been involved in the Benghazi attack, and the classified portion appears to refer the details of the local regional security officer’s report on the arrests. State Department Office of Maghreb Affairs Director William V. Roebuck sent the note to Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Beth Jones, who forwarded it to top Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who forwarded it to Clinton at her personal address.

Those 23 words will be classified through November 18, 2032—twenty years after the email was first sent.

Clinton has asked that the State Department speed up the release of her work emails. “I’ve said from the very beginning that I want them to release all of them as soon as possible. They are in the process of doing that. I understand that there is a certain protocol that has to be followed,” Clinton said. “It’s beginning. I would like to see them expedited to get more of them out, more quickly.”

The emails provide insight into Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, and Clinton herself has said she wants the public to learn more about her role as the country’s chief diplomat.

With reporting by Phil Elliott

TIME Hillary Clinton

Why Hillary Clinton Prefers to Talk About Community Banks

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives for a meeting with parents and child care workers at the Center for New Horizons in Chicago on May 20, 2015.
Scott Olson—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives for a meeting with parents and child care workers at the Center for New Horizons in Chicago on May 20, 2015.

Like many Democrats, Hillary Clinton has talked tough about reining in mega banks. But as her presidential campaign has gotten underway, she’s focused on the homier side of the financial industry: community banks.

At a roundtable in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Clinton spoke on Tuesday less about tightening oversight on Wall Street and more about loosening regulations for banks on Main Street. She argued that red tape and paperwork for small banks across the country are holding back small businesses by making it harder to get much-needed loans.

At times, listeners might have even mistaken Clinton for a moderate Republican.

“Today,” Clinton said, “local banks are being squeezed by regulations that don’t make sense for their size and mission—like endless examinations and paperwork designed for banks that measure their assets in the many billions.”

“And when it gets harder for small banks to do their jobs, it gets harder for small businesses to get their loans,” she said. “Our goal should be helping community banks serve their neighbors and customers the way they always have.”

Community banks tend have less than $1 billion in assets, are usually based in rural or suburban communities and are the kind of place your uncle in Idaho might go for money to open an antique shop. Touting small businesses is a tried-and-true trope for candidates on both sides of the aisle. For office-seekers from Barack Obama to Marco Rubio, the subject is as noncontroversial and all-American as crabgrass.

The difference, then, comes at how politicians want to handle bigger banks. Congress right now is debating how far to exempt banks from certain regulations. Democratic lawmakers generally want to reduce them only for smaller banks; some Republicans want to exempt all banks, an approach Clinton criticized.

Big banks in the United States have become increasingly large and powerful in the seven years since the financial crisis. Of the 6,000-odd banks in the United States, the five largest control nearly half of the country’s banking wealth, according to a December study. In 1990, the five biggest banks controlled just 10% of the industry’s assets.

Small banks complain that federal regulation in the aftermath of the Dodd-Frank legislation is contributing to a decline in their numbers. Annual examinations at a community banks, for instance, require staff to walk regulators through paperwork. Filling out paperwork and paying for compliance lawyers to deal with new Dodd-Frank stipulations are burdensome extra costs, banks say. And new rules can impose high damages on lenders who do make unsafe loans.

“There’s an inherent advantage in scale,” said Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending, pointing out that small banks often have more trouble paying for regulation compliance. “Community banks, being smaller, have less business to spread the cost of regulations over.”

It’s an issue that resonates with Iowa bankers, says John Sorensen, president and CEO of the Iowa Bankers Association. “A lot of the banks we have across Iowa are small businesses with 10 to 30 employees that have been interrupted in their ability to serve their customers through a good part of Dodd-Frank,” he said.

But some say the discussion about scrapping community bank regulations as Clinton suggests is a distraction. Small banks were in steady decline for many years before Dodd-Frank, and they are protected from liability on certain loans that big banks are not. And regulators argue that preventing risky mortgages of the kind that brought on the financial crisis is a good thing.

Much of the push to deregulate community banks comes from bigger institutions who want exemptions from regulation themselves. “If you were able to somehow magically trace who is whipping up frenzy about regulator burden on small banks, you’d find its trade associations at the behest of bigger banks,” said Julia Gordon of the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank that has supplied some top officials in the Clinton campaign.

During the roundtable, Donna Sorensen, chair of the board of Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust and a participant on Tuesday, suggested to Clinton that more U.S. Small Business Administration-supported loans come with no fees. Clinton took notes and nodded in assent.

“If we really wanted to jumpstart more community bank lending, part of what we would do is exactly that—raise the limits to avoid the upfront fee” for businesses that need loans, Clinton said.

Clinton did not say specifically what regulations she would remove if she were elected president, but locals in Independence, Iowa, where Clinton stopped by for a visit after her small business roundtables, asked her to hold true to her sentiments. Terry Tekippe, whose family owns an independent hardware store, walked onto the street as Clinton walked by. “Keep us in focus,” Tekippe said.

“I want to be a small business president, so I am,” Clinton called back as she continued down the street.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Joins LinkedIn Because ‘She’s Looking for a New Job’

The presidential candidate looking to make a career move takes to the career networking site

Hillary Clinton just did what lots of people looking for jobs do: She joined LinkedIn.

The 2016 presidential candidate, who has portrayed herself as the small business candidate, on Thursday wrote a post on the career networking site that laid out her plan for how to jumpstart small businesses.

“It’s still too hard to get a business started today,” she wrote. “Hard work is no longer enough to guarantee opportunity. Credit is too tough to come by. Too many regulatory and licensing requirements are uneven and uncertain.”

She laid out four potential fixes.

1. Cut red tape that holds back small businesses and entrepreneurs

2. Expand access to capital

3. Provide tax relief and tax simplification for small business

4. Expand access to new markets

Her campaign made light of her new LinkedIn account in a Twitter post.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

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