Former President Bill Clinton and his twice-failed Democrat presidential candidate wife Hillary are relaunching their annual fundraising initiative.
The couple will reboot their controversial Clinton Global Initiative, which has previously been accused of acting as a slush fund.
The CGI faced scrutiny during Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign for its significant international donations – many of which would create conflicts of interest.
Bill sent out a letter claiming they are restarting the initiative due to the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has ripped the cover off of longstanding inequities and vulnerabilities across our global community,” the ex-president wrote.
“The existential threat of climate change grows every day.
“Democracy is under assault around the world, most glaringly in Ukraine where Russia has launched an unjustified and unprovoked invasion that has put millions of lives in grave danger.”
“A new chapter of the Clinton Global Initiative is beginning,” a video teasing the restart of the charitable effort said Friday.
“And the need for cooperation and coordination has never been more urgent.”
Clinton and his spokesperson Angel Ureña also cited “inequality” and a growing refugee crisis as reasons for restarting the initiative.
“Just like the world we’re living in, the September meeting will likely look different than the ones we held before,” Bill wrote in his Friday letter.
“But what will not be different is the spirit that has driven CGI from the very beginning—the idea that we can accomplish more together than we can apart.
“While the challenges our world faces today are steep, CGI has always been about what we can do, not what we can’t do.
“And by bringing diverse partners together to take action and achieve real results, we can create a culture of possibility in a world hungry for hope.”
Overall fundraising for the Clinton Foundation, which also includes the Clinton Development Initiative and the presidential center in Little Rock, Arkansas, has dropped since Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump.
It reported US$16.3 million in contributions in 2020, down from its 2016 peak of US$62.9 million, according to tax filings.
CGI asks participants to make specific and measurable commitments toward major world challenges.
In Friday’s letter, Clinton, 75, said its model of “cooperation and coordination has never been more urgent than it is now.”
NEWS: Former President Bill Clinton is bringing back his annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting this September in New York. It was last held in 2016, wound down amid scrutiny of conflicts of interest during Hillary Clinton’s campaign. https://t.co/QoO2jMMec0
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) March 4, 2022
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 4, 2022