Hillary Clinton's campaign pushed back hard Tuesday against a report showing half of the non-government individuals she met during her tenure at the State Department were Clinton Foundation donors.
"This story relies on utterly flawed data. It cherry-picked a limited subset of Secretary Clinton's schedule to give a distorted portrayal of how often she crossed paths with individuals connected to the charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation," Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement.
"The data does not account for more than half of her tenure as Secretary. And it omits more than 1,700 meetings she took with world leaders, let alone countless others she took with other U.S. government officials, while serving as Secretary of State," his statement added.
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 Associated Press reported Tuesday, 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."
Those who were granted meetings with the former secretary of state included a Wall Street executive, Estee Lauder executives and Muhammad Yunus, an economist who ran a Bangladeshi nonprofit bank.
Bill Clinton announced last week that the foundation would stop accepting donations from foreign and corporate entities should the Democratic candidate win the presidency.
However, much of the Clintons' network of charitable foundations would be exempt from the self-imposed donation ban, the Boston Globe reported.
Further, as far as Clinton's pledge is concerned, it would not affect, "more than 6,000 donors who have already provided the Clinton charity with more than $2 billion in funding since its creation in 2000," the AP noted.
For the Clinton campaign, however, the AP's report and what it suggested is "outrageous."
"Just taking the subset of meetings arbitrarily selected by the AP, it is outrageous to misrepresent Secretary Clinton's bases for meeting with these individuals," Fallon said Tuesday.
He added that the report, "outrageously casts a shadow over Secretary Clinton's meetings with … Yunus."
"President Obama awarded Yunus the Presidential Medial Freedom, and Republicans and Democrats voted to unanimously award him the the Congressional Gold Medal," Fallon said. "Nevertheless, this story reduces Yunus to a charitable donation once made by an organization he chaired. That is grossly unfair, inaccurate and just goes to show how faulty this analysis truly is."
Earlier, on Sunday, Clinton's campaign manager complained that the Clinton campaign receives an unfair amount of scrutiny precisely because the Democratic candidate has been so forthcoming.
"There's all this scrutiny because Hillary Clinton has been transparent," Robby Mook said in an CNN interview.