During last week’s impeachment hearings, Turning Points USA founder Charlie Kirk tweeted out to his 1.4 million followers that Ukraine is “the largest single donor to the Clinton Foundation,” having provided $10 million in contributions over the years.
Kirk’s claim is false, in two important ways.
First, while some foreign governments—Australia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the Netherlands, for example—are listed on the foundation’s website as having provided grants directly to the Clinton Foundation, Ukraine is not one of them. A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation confirmed to The Dispatch that the Ukrainian government never donated to the organization.
What Kirk may have been pointing to is a substantial (between $10 million and $25 million) Clinton Foundation donation from the eponymous Victor Pinchuk Foundation headed by a Ukrainian businessman and oligarch. Pinchuk founded a piping and steel business, and while he has government ties, serving in the Ukrainian parliament from 1998 to 2006 and marrying the daughter of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, his donation to the Clinton Foundation cannot be described accurately as coming from the Ukraininan government itself. From the Wall Street Journal in 2015:
In 2008, Mr. Pinchuk made a five-year, $29 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, a wing of the foundation that coordinates charitable projects and funding for them but doesn’t handle the money. The pledge was to fund a program to train future Ukrainian leaders and professionals “to modernize Ukraine,” according to the Clinton Foundation. Several alumni are current members of the Ukrainian Parliament. Actual donations so far amount to only $1.8 million, a Pinchuk foundation spokesman said, citing the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.
Further, Pinchuk is nowhere near “the largest single donor to the Clinton Foundation.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNITAID, the Radcliffe Foundation, Elevate Social Businesses, Fred Eychaner and Alphawood Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and Nationale Postcode Loterij, for starters, are all listed on the foundation’s website in a separate, higher tier than Pinchuk. And the Ukrainian shares the next level down with 19 other donors, including the Rockefeller Foundation and Ted Waitt, the co-founder of computer company Gateway.
Scrutiny of the Clinton Foundation—primarily when Bill and Hillary were closer to the levers of power, but even now—is fair. But Kirk’s particular claim—“the largest single donor to the Clinton Foundation is Ukraine with $10 MILLION in contributions”—is not accurate.
—Fact-checked by Declan Garvey.