February 24, 2015

First, a little background: The original story was an investigation by the Washington Post's database reporting team. And if there's one thing I know about newspapers, when they pay all that overtime on a story, you'd better find a story, dammit!

Except I read this story and said, "Eh. This is it?"

I also knew it would only be a matter of time before the right wing manufactured it into a bigger story.

As we know, correlation is not causation. Foreign governments giving contributions to an international charity does not mean they're buying influence. Are they buying good will? Probably, a little. But if you think a President Hillary Clinton is going to stop a missile attack because someone once wrote the Clinton Foundation a check, you're dreaming.

And look at this, the clever little Republicans even managed to criticize her using Elizabeth Warren's voice. Isn't that special.

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton's allies are insisting controversial donations to her eponymous foundation won't be an issue for her probable presidential bid — but Republicans are already working to prove them wrong.Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a major Clinton surrogate and early backer, said in an interview with the Washington Post this weekend that the negative press surrounding foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation wasn't a very big problem for the potential presidential contender.

"If the biggest attack on Hillary's going to be that she raised too much money for her charity, okay, I'll take that," he said. "No one's alleging anything beyond that she raised money and people gave her money and foreign governments gave her money. At the end of the day, that's fine. It went to a charity. It helped a lot of people."

Over the past two weeks, multiple media outlets have shined a spotlight on the Clinton Foundation's fundraising activities, noting that the foundation's contributions from foreign governments increased after Clinton left her position as secretary of State and a ban on such contributions was lifted.

And though McAuliffe insists they won't impact her likely campaign, Republicans wasted no time in turning the reports into a hard-hitting attack video that contrasted Clinton with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — the preferred presidential contender of the liberal left.

The video, from GOP outside group American Crossroads, features shots of Clinton with foreign leaders — mostly from the Middle East — along with headlines from press reports about foreign contributions to the foundation.

"Powerful interests have tried to capture Washington and rig the system in their favor. The power of well-funded special interests tilts our democracy away from the people and towards the powerful," Warren's voiceover declares.The voiceover concludes: "Action is required to defend our great Democracy against those that would see it perverted into one more rigged game where the rich and the powerful always win."

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