White House press secretary Josh Earnest was grilled by a reporter Friday afternoon over whether the large sums of foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation concerned the Obama administration.
"We now know that some $2 million in donations that came essentially from Uranium One to the Clinton Foundation that were not disclosed at the time.Can you acknowledge that that did not live up to the standards that were expected based on the Memorandum of Understanding between Hillary Clinton and the administration?" ABC White House correspondent Jon Karl asked.
Earnest immediately dismissed the question by referring Karl to the State Department or Clinton's team. But, Karl pressed further.
"But you made it clear at the time that donations were going to be made public, this is not some promise that Hillary Clinton made off to the side, this is an agreement with the White House, the president, so I'm just saying we now know $2 million in donations from Uranium One while this transaction, even aside the approval of the transaction, the fact that you had such a large donation that was not disclosed. That doesn't concern the White House at all? That lived up to the standards? Forget Hillary Clinton, for the president?" Karl asked.
[sharequote align="center"]"That doesn't concern the White House at all? ... Forget Hillary Clinton, for the president?"[/sharequote]
Earnest responded, "What is clear, as is noted in the New York there is no evidence to indicate that donations had any impact on this particular policy."
"I have been in the position where, to put it mildly, other conservative authors have launched written books based on what they purport to be serious allegations against the president of the United States," the press secretary added. "And I’m often in the position of responding to those incidents and trying to defend the president from accusations that are not rooted or accompanied by any evidence. My point is that right now that’s what’s happening to Secretary Clinton. And there’s a spokesman that Secretary Clinton hired who can answer these questions."
Karl tried one more time to get an answer.
"I'm not asking you whether Secretary Clinton sold favors from the State Department. I'm just asking you whether these donations should have been disclosed," Karl said.
"And that's something Secretary Clinton's team can talk to you about," Earnest said.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter