Saudi Arabia has paid more than 20 percent of the cost of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for presidential elections, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was quoted as saying Sunday in a news report by the Jordanian Petra News Agency.
According to the Middle East Eye news website, the report was later deleted from the agency’s website. However, a snapshot of the original Arabic version was later republished by the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs.
“Saudi Arabia has always sponsored both Republican and Democratic Parties of America and… the kingdom also provides with full enthusiasm 20 percent of the cost of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the U.S. presidential elections despite the fact that some influential forces within the country don’t have a positive look toward supporting the candidate because she is a woman,” the agency’s report quoted Prince Mohammed as saying.
The comments came as the Saudi second-in-command travelled to Washington on an official visit to meet with U.S. officials to discuss ties between the two countries, the Saudi state news agency said Monday.
It is illegal in the U.S. for presidential candidates to accept funding from foreign governments, but Saudi Arabia and Clinton are no strangers to exchanging favors.
The Clinton Foundation, which is chaired by both Hillary and her husband Bill Clinton, disclosed in 2008 that it had accepted up to US$25 million from the Saudi Kingdom in the same year.
Other foreign governments who have donated money to the Clintons include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Italy and Jamaica, which together donated around US$20 million.
Middle East Eye said it attempted to contact the Saudis and Hillary Clinton but failed to receive a response from either party.