Clinton on Foundation Accusations: "I Know There's A Lot Of Smoke And There Is No Fire"

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Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton phones in to CNN's Anderson Cooper to address questions about the Clinton Foundation, her time at the State Department, her private server and more.

"Look, Anderson, I know there is a lot of smoke and there is no fire," Clinton said Wednesday night in a telephone interview with Cooper. "This AP report put in it context. This excludes nearly 2,000 meetings I had with world leaders. And countless other meetings with U.S. government officials when I was secretary of state. It looks at a small portion of my time."

Clinton cited a meeting with noted Holocaust survivor and novelist Elie Wielsel as an example of someone she met with as Secretary of State who has connections with the foundation.

"It draws a conclusion and makes a suggestion that my meetings with people like the late, great Elie Wiesel or Melinda Gates or the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus were somehow due to connections with the foundation instead of their status as highly respected global leaders," Clinton argued.

"That is absurd," she said. "These are people I would be proud to meet with, who any secretary of state would have been proud to meet with, to hear about their work and their insights."

Transcript, via CNN:

COOPER: Why was it OK for the Clinton Foundation to accept foreign donations when you were secretary of state but it wouldn't be OK if you were president?

CLINTON: Well, what we did when I was secretary of state, as I said, went above and beyond anything that was required, anything that any charitable organization has to do. Now, obviously, if I am president, there will be some unique circumstances and that's why the foundation has laid out additional ...

COOPER: But didn't those unique circumstances exist when you were secretary of state?

CLINTON: ... if I am elected.

COOPER: Didn't those unique circumstances exist ...

CLINTON: No, no. And, you know, look, Anderson, I know there's a lot of smoke and there's no fire. This A.P. report, put in it context, this excludes nearly 2,000 meetings I had with world leaders, with countless other meetings with U.S. government officials when I was secretary of state. It looked at a small portion of my time. And it draws a conclusion and made a suggestion that my meetings with people like the late great Elie Wiesel or Melinda Gates or the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus were somehow due to connections with the foundation instead of their status as highly respected global leaders. That is absurd. These are people I was proud to meet with, to any secretary of state would have been proud to meet with, to hear about their work and their insights.

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