Harvey Weinstein is no stranger to sex scandals – back when Bill Clinton was battling allegations he lied about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, Weinstein had the president’s back, and a hefty check in hand.
A recently uncovered 1998 story in The Washington Post lists the powerful producer – now accused of sexual harassment and assault by numerous women – among several Hollywood heavyweights who gave the maximum $10,000 to Clinton’s legal defense fund.
The detail gives a fuller picture of the longstanding financial relationship between the former first family and one of their best West Coast fundraisers. That relationship has been under the microscope after Hillary Clinton came under criticism for waiting five days to condemn Weinstein.
In eventually saying she was “shocked and appalled” by the allegations against the producer, Clinton said in a CNN interview that she would donate Weinstein’s political contributions to charity, as other Democratic beneficiaries have done. Weinstein’s contributions to her various campaigns, as well as a political committee she used to support other Democrats and a joint fund with the DNC in 2016, total more than $46,000.
Hillary Clinton, though, moved to shift the focus during a BBC interview that aired Friday, bringing up allegations against President Trump – a move that inadvertently brought up her husband’s past.
“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether it's in entertainment, politics,” Clinton said. “After all, we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office.”
The BBC's Andrew Marr responded by pointing out that Clinton has dismissed allegations made by women against her husband.
“That has all been litigated,” Clinton replied. “That was subject of a huge investigation in the late '90s and there were conclusions drawn. That was clearly in the past.”
Clinton, in her accusation against Trump, was referring to the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape of Trump in 2005 in which he said he can “do anything” to women as a star, including grabbing “them by the p----.” Trump later apologized for his comments and called it “locker room talk” but has never admitted to sexual assault.
Meanwhile, the litigation Clinton referenced led to a big out-of-court settlement: $850,000 to Paula Jones, who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
The money Weinstein donated to the related legal defense fund is long gone. And it appears the same may be true for Weinstein’s donations to The Clinton Foundation.
The Daily Mail reported the foundation will not return as much as $250,000 in donations from the disgraced movie mogul.
The move to keep the money was expected following tweets from the foundation’s spokesman Craig Minassian.
“Suggesting @ClintonFdn return funds from our 330,000+ donors ignores the fact that donations have been used to help people across the world,” Minassian wrote on Twitter.