Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea applaud Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech during at the Democratic National Convention. Bill Clinton said he would step down from the board of the family's Clinton Foundation and the group would stop accepting foreign donations if Hillary becomes president. Photo by Pete Marovich/UPI | License Photo
NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The Clinton Foundation will stop accepting all foreign donations and former President Bill Clinton will step down from running the charitable organization if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, the group said.
The Clintons have faced criticism from Republicans for alleged "pay-for-play" arrangements between foundation donors and Hillary Clinton's State Department while she was secretary. Emails obtained by a conservative group showed Douglas Band, a top adviser to Bill Clinton, seeking to arrange access for a donor to American diplomats in Lebanon. That same adviser also tried to land a job for a former foundation employee at the State Department.
Neither of those requests were sent to Hillary Clinton directly, but several of her top aides responded, saying they would try to help.
The Clintons have denied that any financial donations to their family foundation prompted official action by the State Department. A spokeswoman for the department also downplayed the emails, obtained by the group Judicial Watch, which filed a freedom of information lawsuit against the State Department to gain access to Clinton's emails.
A spokeswoman said the State Department is in regular contact with many large nonprofit groups that request assistance dealing with foreign governments and the Clinton Foundation was one of them.
The Trump campaign dismissed the announcement, saying they never should have taken foreign money in the first place.
"They're low-class grifters and gifters at every turn, whether it's the money they make giving speeches, whether it's the pay-for-play at the State Department," Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the announcement "too little, too late."
"After all, if everything was above board while Hillary Clinton ran the State Department as the Clintons have said, then why change a thing?" he said.
The foundation also said it would stop hosting its annual Clinton Global Initiative, a meeting of international leaders, CEOs, philanthropic groups and intellectuals held each year.