Hillary Clinton's campaign on Thursday attacked a Politico report saying aides to former President Bill Clinton used federal money to subsidize the Clinton Foundation and to support his wife's private email server.
The news site said the taxpayer money — part of the Former Presidents Act, which gives assistance to past commanders-in-chief — also helped to buy IT equipment at the Clinton Foundation and to compensate aides. The report, which stressed that an investigation found nothing illegal and included an aide's defense of the former president, said the findings cast more light on "how the Clintons blurred the lines between their non-profit foundation, Hillary Clinton's State Department and the business dealings of Bill Clinton and the couple's aides."
In a tweet Thursday morning, Brian Fallon, Hillary Clinton campaign press secretary, called a version of Politico's headline "egregiously false" and said the campaign would demand a correction. The Politico tweet he cited read "Bill Clinton used tax dollars to subsidize foundation, private email server." A later headline on the outlet's website carried a slightly different headline: "Bill Clinton aides used tax dollars to subsidize foundation, private email support."
A note on Politico's report said "The headline on this story has been revised to reflect that (General Services Administration) funds were used for IT support." A Politico spokesman told CNBC that the story is completely accurate and "has not changed." He added that the "headline was sharpened for clarity."
Fallon seized on the report as pressure to find a headline in documents received through the Freedom of Information Act that "don't contain news." He compared it to a recent Associated Press story about access to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state that also received heavy criticism from the campaign.
The AP stood by the story, which reported that more than half the people outside the government who met with her while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the foundation. The AP acknowledged that a tweet promoting the story had "sloppy" wording. The tweet said "more than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation."