Last night, the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidates participated in a town hall event held in Ohio and hosted by CNN. One of the subjects featured prominently was what either candidate would do to counter Donald Trump in a general election campaign.
Senator Bernie Sanders first responded to claims by Trump and others that his supporters were behind shutting down a Trump rally in Chicago. Sanders claimed his campaign had nothing to do with it, but that people had the right to peacefully protest.
Sanders then went through why he was the best candidate to beat Trump in the general election saying that he could speak to Trump supporter’s working class concerns and that higher voter turnout leads to Democratic Party victories which he could inspire because his campaign is generating the most enthusiasm among Democrats.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also asked about Trump during her segment. Clinton said she was the best to take Trump on because she had withstood conservative attacks for decades and had already received a larger number of votes than Trump had. Technically, that was correct as Trump’s votes have been split with many other candidates whereas Clinton has been in a two-person race for most of the primary season.
Clinton then went on to make an international case: that a Trump presidency was scaring foreign leaders who were reaching out to former Secretary Clinton directly, saying “[O]ne argument that I am uniquely qualified to bring, because of my service as Secretary of State is what his presidency would mean to our country and our standing in the world. I am already receiving messages from leaders – I’m having foreign leaders ask if they can endorse me to stop Donald Trump.”
CNN anchor Jake Tapper followed up to that claim and asked who Clinton was referring to. Clinton said the prime minister of Italy had been one and had also made a public announcement. Tapper then asked who else had made private overtures and Clinton refused to disclose before adding cryptically, “We’re holding that in reserve, too,” a reference to Clinton’s earlier claim that her campaign team had opposition research on Trump they were reserving for the general election.
While it remains unknown what foreign leaders would serve a useful role in convincing American voters to vote against Trump, it is well established that Clinton has close personal and financial relationships with many foreign leaders, among them the royal family of Saudi Arabia.
One of the ties that has bound Clinton and the Saudis is the Clinton Foundation, which the Saudis donated at least $10 million to when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. During the time the donations were made billions of dollars worth of US military equipment went to the regime. The beneficiary of one of the arms deals, Boeing, also contributed to the Clinton Foundation.
But it didn’t stop there. According to the International Business Times, “Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.” Pay to play?
The voters would likely benefit from knowing who former Secretary Clinton is communicating with regarding the election and what kind of deals she is cutting in the event that she wins the presidency.