Clinton Foundation to host glitzy gala just before debate; Dems dubious

Clinton Foundation to host glitzy gala just before debate; Dems dubious

Hundreds of corporate executives, foreign dignitaries and celebrities will pile into a Manhattan ballroom to hobnob with Bill and Chelsea Clinton next month at their charity’s keynote annual event — just days before Hillary Clinton defends herself against pay-to-play accusations from Donald Trump in their first debate.

The 12th and final annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative will showcase its philanthropic work and also the Democratic nominee’s greatest potential vulnerability — her ties to a sprawling global charity that has accepted donations from Middle Eastern governments, foreign businessmen with checkered histories and major corporations with business before the government.

Some Democratic operatives say they’re dismayed by the timing of the three-day conference Sept. 19-21 — a week before the first national debate and seven weeks before Election Day. They say it’s inevitable that having two members of the former and perhaps future first family rubbing shoulders with the well-heeled and well-connected will provide fresh ammunition to the Republican campaign, even as Hillary Clinton is off honing rebuttals to charges that donors got special consideration from the government while she was Secretary of State.

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