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Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign did not report receiving any donations from the Ukrainian government or Ukrainian nationals. Those donations would have been illegal.
A spokesperson for Marjorie Taylor Greene cited a 2015 Wall Street Journal graphic that has been frequently misrepresented online. The chart shows donations to the Clinton Foundation between 1999 and 2014 by the nationality of the individuals who made them; it does not say anything about donations to the foundation by foreign governments.
The Clinton Foundation said it has never received donations from Ukraine’s government.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., falsely claimed that when Hillary Clinton was running for president against former President Donald Trump, Ukraine was her top donor.
Greene’s remarks came before a rally for a congressional candidate in Texas, where she toggled between attacks on Democrats and critiques of the media.
"They would rather talk about Russia, Russia, Russia, and Ukraine, and talk about possible war, than talk about the real truth that Ukraine — don’t forget this — Ukraine was the No. 1 donor to Hillary Clinton when she was running for president," Greene said Feb. 19 in comments captured by Right Side Broadcasting Network, a right-wing website known for streaming Trump’s events.
That’s not the real truth.
The claim about Clinton was part of a torrent of falsehoods from Greene that also included inaccurate claims that the southern U.S. border is "wide open"; that President Joe Biden has "dementia"; and that Clinton and her campaign "hacked into the White House and spied on the president of the United States."
Clinton did not report receiving any campaign donations from the Ukrainian government or Ukrainian nationals during her bid for president in 2016, said Anna Massoglia, the editorial and investigations manager at OpenSecrets, a nonprofit organization that tracks money in politics.
"Such contributions are illegal under federal law," said Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine. The law prohibits contributions, donations, expenditures and disbursements from foreign nationals in connection with any U.S. election.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally Sept. 8, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (AP)
In an emailed response to PolitiFact’s inquiry, Greene spokesperson Nick Dyer did not cite any donations that Ukraine’s government or Ukrainian nationals made to Clinton’s campaign.
Instead, he cited a 2015 chart from The Wall Street Journal that dealt with donations to the Clinton Foundation, the nonprofit organization founded by former President Bill Clinton. But the donations listed in that chart were not from the Ukrainian government, and they did not happen while Hillary Clinton was running for president against Trump.
The chart was part of an article examining "large donors to the Clinton Foundation" in the years after Hillary Clinton became former President Barack Obama’s secretary of state in 2009.
The graphic mapped individual contributions of more than $50,000 that foreign donors sent to the Clinton Foundation between 1999 and 2014, grouped by nationality. It showed people of Ukrainian nationality contributing at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, more than any other nationality.
Helping push Ukraine to the top of that list were donations between 2009 and 2013 from a foundation created by Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian steel mogul and former parliamentarian. Those contributions accounted for at least $8.6 million, the Journal reported at the time.
But misinterpretations of the graphic inspired a flurry of misinformation in 2019 and again in 2020, as Trump was impeached in the House for conduct related to Ukraine. Conservative websites and social media posts wrongly claimed that the Ukrainian government threw millions of dollars at the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton worked in the Obama administration.
"A false meme from 2019 asserted that the Clinton Foundation received $10 million from the government of Ukraine," the Clinton Foundation press office told PolitiFact for this fact-check. "The Clinton Foundation has never received any funding from the government of Ukraine."
The time span covered in the chart also ended the year before Clinton announced the launch of her 2016 presidential campaign on April 12, 2015.
So the chart Greene’s spokesperson cited doesn’t support her claim about donations while Clinton was running for president.
Greene said, "Ukraine was the No. 1 donor to Hillary Clinton when she was running for president."
Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign did not report any donations from Ukraine or Ukrainian nationals — a move that would have broken the law. Asked for evidence to support Greene’s claim, the congresswoman’s spokesperson did not cite any campaign donations.
He pointed instead to a Wall Street Journal chart that mapped large individual donations between 1999 and 2014 to the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit organization. The chart was a ranking of the top foreign donors by nationality, not contributions from foreign governments.
The Clinton Foundation said it has never received any funding from the Ukrainian government.
We rate Greene’s statement False.
Right Side Broadcasting Network on Rumble, "VOD: America First Rally ft. Collins, Lindell, Reps. Cawthorn, MTG in The Woodlands, TX 2/19/22," Feb. 19, 2022
OpenSecrets, "Top Contributors, federal election data for Hillary Clinton, 2016 cycle" (archived), accessed Feb. 21, 2022
Snopes, "Did Ukraine Donate More Than Any Country to the Clinton Foundation?" Dec. 11, 2019
FactCheck.org, "Headlines Spin Ukrainian Donations to Clinton Charity," Oct. 25, 2019
PolitiFact, "Why Clinton disinformation resurfaced during Trump’s impeachment trial," Feb. 17, 2020
Email interview with Nick Dyer, spokesperson for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Feb. 21, 2022
Email interview with the Clinton Foundation Press Office, Feb. 21, 2022
Email interview with Rick Hasen, professor of law and political science and co-director of the Fair Elections and Free Speech Center at the University of California, Irvine, Feb. 21, 2022
Email interview with Anna Massoglia, editorial and investigations manager at OpenSecrets, Feb. 21, 2022
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