After a number of controversies and scandals, the Clinton Foundation had been laying low from public scrutiny. It is back, however – and making big bucks with a new fundraiser.
Thursday night, the Clinton Foundation held a major fundraiser under a shroud of secrecy in New York City. In years past, Clinton Foundation events were the toast of the town, but questions were raised about how the foundation’s money was spent, and concerns over foreign money buying influence when Hillary was Secretary of State.
2016 was a bad year for the foundation, as donations plunged by $50 million after Hillary lost the election. After a book claimed Clinton Foundation staffers called the organization “Chelsea’s nest egg,” the organization stayed out of the public eye. That approach is no more, as the Clintons boldly stepped out for the foundation once again – at least, to those who were willing to pay.
Thursday’s fundraiser was not heavily promoted, and its location was not publicly announced. It seems only those who support the Clintons – and were willing to pay $100,000 for a table – even knew were it was held.
Singers Sting and Shaggy, as well as gay Olympian Adam Rippon, provided the entertainment. The Clintons, including Chelsea, all spoke at the event. A silent auction was also held, where someone paid $65,000 to have wine with Hillary Clinton.
The Clintons partied like it was 2015 on Thursday night, hosting a $100,000-a-table star-studded gala designed to relaunch their troubled family charity.
Sting and Shaggy performed together on stage, Jon Bon Jovi introduced Bill and the audience included millionaires and Hillary super-fans who got in line for selfies.
On offer at a post-dinner auction was a trip to the Caribbean with Bill – or chardonnay with Hillary.
It was an echo of the charity’s golden years, before an intense focus on it during Hillary’s losing run for the presidency, and now an active FBI investigation into whether it was part of a pay-to-play scheme while she was secretary of state, made it a lightning rod for controversy.
But Bill, Hillary and Chelsea were defiant as they fronted the event, with Hillary telling attendees: ‘You being here is really heartening to me.’
There were signs of the headwinds the trio face however, with the New York venue which hosted the event not being publicly disclosed, and no sign of photographs or videos of the celebrations on the three Clintons’ social media accounts.
In pictures taken at the event, Hillary can be seen wearing another of her mysterious scarves, which some claim is covering a back brace.
(Found on Tumblr)
Clinton foundation benefit. // May 24. 💗 pic.twitter.com/xsOj1U2zc7
— I Love Hillary! (@Hill_German_Fan) May 25, 2018
Previous events had been held at high-profile and publicly named venues such as the Plaza, with hosts named well in advance.
This time the introductions were by Adam Rippon, the breakout figure skating star of the Winter Olympics, and by Bon Jovi, a long time friend of the Clintons.
Rippon – who brought his mom Kelly – had previously promoted a competition to win two tickets for the event, and introduced Hillary to the stage as ‘former New York senator and secretary of state’, not mentioning her 2016 run.
The 2016 loser was wearing the elaborate scarf which has become her trademark look in recent weeks and has raised questions on social media over whether she is hiding aback brace.
Hillary praised the charity’s work, saying it was looking for ‘a smart way that brings people together rather than driving them apart’.
The Clintons did not announce how much was raised, but it will likely be nice padding for Chelsea’s nest egg.