If the Clinton Foundation continues to act as an anchor around Hillary's Clinton's neck, dragging her approval numbers down, then she needs to cut the organization off, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said Tuesday.
His comments, which track closely with an editorial published early Tuesday morning by the New York Times, came as he discussed the 2016 presidential election with MSNBC's Tamron Hall.
"When you look at some of the polling, it appears that the Clinton Foundation is hurting her. Some of the perceived lack of transparency here," said Hall. "Do you believe that it is time for them to do something different?"
The congressman answered, "Yeah, I do. And I think that there is a lot at stake in this election, and I think if anybody knows that it is Secretary Clinton.
"We have got to get rid of extraneous issues, and if this foundation is an extraneous issue that goes to the heart of whether it's trust or transparency, then get rid of it," the congressman, who supported Bernie Sanders during the primaries, continued.
"Because there is so much on the table, right now, for the American people and for the future of this nation that extraneous issues such as the foundation, which if that is something that needs to be cut off, then it should be cut off," he said.
The foundation has come under close scrutiny in recent months amid reports there was some sort of pay-for-play scheme in place when Clinton served at the State Department.
Additional questions were raised this month after the Associated Press published a report showing that the majority of the non-government individuals who met with Clinton during her tenure at the State Department were Clinton Foundation donors.
Of the 154 non-government officials who met or had phone calls scheduled with Clinton when she worked the top spot at the State Department, approximately 85 either donated directly to the foundation or "pledged commitments to its international programs," the AP reported, citing State Department calendars.
Those 85 donors contributed a combined total of $156 million to Clinton-owned entities.
"At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million," the AP noted. "Some of Clinton's most influential visitors donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and to her and her husband's political coffers."
Though the Democratic nominee's camp has disputed the story, accusing the AP of relying on "utterly flawed data," and even though Bill Clinton promised that the foundation would stop accepting foreign and corporate donations should she win the White House, some in the press, including the New York Times' editorial board, think it's time that organization alter its fundraising methods immediately so as to protect the candidate from possible conflicts of interest.
"A wiser course would be to ban contributions from foreign and corporate entities now," said the Times. "If Mrs. Clinton wins, Bill and [daughter] Chelsea Clinton should both end their operational involvement in the foundation and its affiliates for the duration of her presidency, relinquishing any control over spending, hiring and board appointments ...
"It would also send a signal that Mrs. Clinton and her family have heard the concerns of critics and supporters and will end any further possibility for the foundation to become a conduit to the White House for powerful influence seekers."