Do Bill Clinton's Contributors Create Conflicts of Interest for Hillary?

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 19, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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JOHN KASICH, GUEST HOST: In the Impact Segment tonight, Bill Clinton has finally released a list of donors to his presidential library and charitable foundation. The former president has received almost 500 million bucks, much of it from foreign governments, Arab sheiks and international tycoons. The question is do all of these contributors create conflicts of interest for Hillary? She hopes to be confirmed, of course, as secretary of State.

Joining us now from L.A., FOX News contributor Tammy Bruce. All right, Tammy. Characterize the list for us. What is your sense of it?

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TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think the entire list is a problem. You have such large amounts of the money. They are massive, over $25 million, $10 to $25 million, hundreds of thousands of dollars. But there is a block that is particularly troubling. I have trouble with virtually almost all of them. But it is a Saudi government and Islamic governments in particular. The amount of money from foreign governments is almost $50 million. And it becomes very difficult when we are talking about a potential secretary of State to have that kind of financial relationship through her husband with nations that effectively are part of the problem when it comes to the issue of terrorism around the world.

KASICH: OK. Now we do have Kuwait. The numbers are kind of amazing. The king of Saudi Arabia gave $10 million, $25 million foundation, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman gave $1 million to $5 million. Kuwait, we can't argue is not an enemy of ours. But it is staggering the amount of dollars from the Arab world. They gave it to former President Bush as well. What are they looking for? Why do they keep giving money to all these former American presidents?

BRUCE: As we are looking even with the Blagojevich scandal is that when money is given or asked for, there is either an expectation of influence or an expectation in some fashion of being paid back. One has to ask why is it a block of Islamic nations that are just piling money into that foundation, one has to wonder what the difference is. And for Hillary Clinton, you have got a dynamic where her essential experience is linked directly with her husband. And the question becomes can someone who wants to represent this nation be objective? Now, we have seen what Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.

KASICH: We are going to get to that. I want to get to that. But here is one of the most bizarre ones, Blackwater. These are the guard, the guard company that has people -- these guys have been hammered. Now some of them are being prosecuted for murder over there is my understanding. Why Blackwater?

BRUCE: Manslaughter.

KASICH: What's Blackwater doing?

BRUCE: Obviously Blackwater has a serious relationship with the government. I happen to like Blackwater. I think they are great. But everyone on both sides of the aisle sees trouble with this list, I think. It is a matter of influence. Listen, it is freedom of expression. If you have a business, you can donate to whomever you want. When you are looking at a candidate, you have to look I think, at issues of conflict of interest in this case.

KASICH: Blackwater and Clinton? That's the last one. All right, now, let's say Hillary is going before the Senate. She is going to have to testify. They are going to be presenting all these contributions. They are going to say Hillary, how can you be independent? How can you possibly be independent from all these friends of your husband? How does she answer it?

BRUCE: Well, there is no -- she will say that she will be. There is no way to explain that when there is such -- besides, this is how government is run. You are right. George HW Bush accepted money from the Islamic block. I believe George W. Bush will as well. The issue becomes is Barack Obama


BRUCE: I don't think she did. You can actually get a secretary of State who isn't beholden to the enemy or beholden to foreign governments. This is a position of someone who must be unbiased, who must have a clear conscience. And I don't think either one of the Clintons can say so.

KASICH: Tammy, look, in her defense, don't you think it's possible that she doesn't really care who gave money to her husband?

BRUCE: Oh, no.

KASICH: There is a lot of history as you know.

BRUCE: John, listen, she also donated her own campaign millions and millions of dollars. That family is rich because of donations like this because of influence, because of position. She owes her position to the success of her husband and to her relationship to his success. So, of course she cares. Of course she does.

KASICH: One thing that is interesting is no matter what happens, when she is out there negotiating, talking to people, these contributions are going to probably follow her for quite a long time. Won't they?

BRUCE: Oh, absolutely. Plus she has to be concerned about her own -- her husband's legacy. She wants to make sure that the status quo is maintained. I think Barack Obama could have done -- listen, I grew sympathetic toward Hillary in the election. But really, this is a reason why they didn't want that list released. We now know why.

KASICH: OK and Tammy you know what, former presidents ought to be more discriminating. Have a library, but I mean come on.

BRUCE: Yes, exactly.

KASICH: Thanks for being with us, Tammy.

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