By Lauren Carroll and Aaron Sharockman
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says Hillary Clinton is only pretending to be a feminist.
On NBC’s Meet the Press on Oct. 2, Giuliani criticized the Democratic presidential nominee for “attacking” women who have accused her husband, former President Bill Clinton, of sexual abuse. He also brought up Hillary Clinton’s record on human rights.
“A woman who pretends to be a feminist shouldn’t be taking money from countries where women are stoned, where women are killed for adultery, and women can’t drive,” Giuliani said. “She’s taken hundreds of millions from those countries.”
That rates Mostly False.
Giuliani was referring to the Clinton Foundation, which has brought in significant amounts of money from foreign entities and governments to fund its international charitable programs.
One of the biggest concerns about the Clinton Foundation is that some of this foreign money came from countries with questionable records on human rights, as well as countries that had business before the State Department while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
On this particular claim, though, Giuliani stretches the truth. The donations from the countries in question do not come close to “hundreds of millions” of dollars. And the money goes to the foundation, not to Clinton.
Giuliani specifically mentioned countries where women are stoned, killed for adultery, and can’t drive. By our count—using the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Cornell University’s death penalty database—we found four countries who fall loosely into these categories: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
Here’s a chart laying out those countries’ stance on adultery, stoning, and women driving, and donations to the Clinton Foundation. (The foundation lists donors on its website, organized into groups based on the size of the donation, without giving the specific dollar amount.)
CountryDonation to Clinton FoundationWomen’s rights issuesSaudi Arabia$10 million—$25 millionWomen are not allowed to drive. Adultery is illegal, and perpetrators can be sentenced to death by stoning.Kuwait$5 million—$10 millionLenient sentence for a person who kills someone caught in the act of adultery.United Arab Emirates$1 million—$5 millionSharia courts allow flogging as a punishment for adultery, and stoning is a form of execution.Bahrain$50,000—$100,000Lenient sentence for a person who kills someone caught in the act of adultery.
In total, the Clinton Foundation brought in between $16.05 million and $40.1 million. That’s not a small number, but it’s nowhere near “hundreds of millions.” Saudi Arabia is the clearest example of what Giuliani is talking about, and it donated a maximum of $25 million.
We should note that outside the narrow band of countries that ban women from driving and stone them for adultery, a few other countries with other women’s rights issues donated to the Clinton Foundation.
For example, Qatar, which donated between $1 million and $5 million, allows for flogging (non-lethal) as a punishment for adultery. And Brunei, which donated between $1 million and $5 million, specifically says spousal intercourse cannot be considered rape.
But even if you expand the group of foundation donors to countries that have significant women’s rights issues generally, the donations do not amount to “hundreds of millions” of dollars.
It’s also important to note Giuliani’s phrasing. He said, “She’s taken hundreds of millions from those countries,” referring to Hillary Clinton herself.
But the donations did not go to Clinton personally; they went to the foundation. While Clinton has been intimately involved in the foundation when not serving in the government or running for office, neither Clinton nor her political campaigns have ever received a direct monetary benefit, such as a salary, from the foundation.
Giuliani on NYT tax return story
Giuliani also defended Trump in the wake of a New York Times story detailing how Trump reported a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns and potentially avoided having to pay income tax for 18 years.
“This is perfectly legal, and the Times makes that point about 26 paragraphs into the opinion,” Giuliani said on CNN’s State of the Union.
On Meet the Press, Giuliani made the same point.
“The New York Times writes this long story, and then somewhere around paragraph 18, they point out there was no wrongdoing.”
So did The New York Times bury the news that what Trump did was legal?
No. Here’s the first sentence of the story:
“Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.”
We’ll keep this short and sweet.
Giuliani’s claim is not accurate. It rates False.
Read the full fact-checks at PolitiFact.com.