[Ed. – Downward trajectory starting to accelerate?]
The Clinton Foundation invited everyone from Pope Francis and Leonardo DiCaprio to Bill de Blasio and Janet Yellen to its showcase gathering starting Saturday in New York City, according to multiple sources familiar with the planning.
But those invitations were among the dozens turned down by all manner of celebrities, dignitaries and donors, according to the sources, who said the controversies swirling around the foundation and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign have made some bold-faced names and donors wary of the foundation.
The glitzy Clinton Global Initiative gathering in New York, which has the lofty title “The Future of Impact,” was supposed to have been a celebration of the accomplishments of the $2-billion Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation’s past work as it pivots towards a future with Chelsea Clinton at the helm.
Instead, it’s become emblematic of the foundation’s struggles to regain its luster, while scaling back some of its ambitions and restructuring amid heightened scrutiny of its internal workings, the diminished role of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the prospect that former president Bill Clinton also could be forced to step back.
“They’ve had a lot of rejections from people – both for membership renewals and speaking roles this year between the campaign, Hillary not being at CGI this year, bad press,” said one person who has worked on planning foundation events.