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QUICK TAKE: Bill Clinton: “I Trusted The State Department”

As the former president kicks off the final CGI meeting, he tells NPR he expected the State Department to prevent any potential conflicts of interest…

Bill Clinton I Trusted State Department

Former President Bill Clinton told NPR that it was “natural” for longtime friends and political allies to ask for favors and that he “trusted the State Department wouldn’t do anything they shouldn’t do,” in an interview released Monday.

Clinton’s remarks are yet another reminder that he and Hillary Clinton have been unable to put to rest the conflict-of-interest issues that have plagued the Clinton Foundation’s various efforts.

Last month, the Associated Press reported that as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton regularly met with Foundation donors who requested meetings or favors of Clinton. In fact more than half of the non-government meetings Clinton took as secretary were with individuals who gave money, either personally or through companies, to the Clinton Foundation.

“It’s hard,” the former president added, when asked about walking away from his Foundation’s work. “I’ve had this job longer than I ever had any job, and I’ve loved it. And you know, we always say in response to our critics, that nobody in my family ever took a penny out of this foundation and put millions of dollars in. But I would have paid more to do this job. It was the most fun thing I’ve ever done.”

Despite that claim, the Clinton Foundation has enabled the Clintons to remain the public spotlight and provided perks along the way. The former first family spent more than $50 million on travel alone in a ten-year span from 2003 to 2013.

Clinton’s remarks come as the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) final annual meeting kicks off in New York City. The Clintons are shuttering the CGI arm of the Clinton Foundation in an effort to limit potential conflicts of interest should Hillary Clinton become president.