Photo, above: Former President Bill Clinton (left, pictured at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference in Florida on Saturday) hit back at critics as he defended his foundation’s acceptance of foreign donations before joining a panel discussion with Russian female punk band Pussy Riot (Maria Alekhina and Nadezdha Tolokonnikova from the band pictured right)

Look away Hillary! Bill Clinton gives a warm welcome to Russian punk band Pussy Riot as he defends receipt of foreign donations

  • Former president Bill Clinton hit back at critics who questioned his foundations acceptance of donations from foreign governments
  • He spoke during Clinton Global Initiative University on Saturday in Florida; conference focuses on topics such as education and environment
  • He was joined by Maria Alekhina and Nadezdha Tolokonnikova from band Pussy Riot, who advocate for gender, LGBT and human rights
  • Hillary Clinton avoided discussing recent scrutiny of foundation’s fundraising practices during conference

Former President Bill Clinton hit back at critics as he defended his foundation’s acceptance of foreign donations before warmly welcoming Russian female punk band Pussy Riot onstage.

Bill spoke during the Clinton Global Initiative University on Saturday in Florida, where he discussed the receipt of donations from foreign governments that were accepted while the former first lady served in the State Department and after she departed in early 2013.

He pointed to the track record of his global philanthropy as Hillary Rodham Clinton nears an announcement on a 2016 presidential campaign.

Later in the day, he was joined by musicians Maria Alekhina and Nadezdha Tolokonnikova who were detained in 2012 for staging a protest in one of Moscow’s largest cathedrals.

The women, who advocate for gender, LGBT and human rights, were convicted for extremism but were released several months short of their two-year sentence in December 2013.

They were a part of the eight annual conference that focuses on education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health.

Bill spoke during the conference about the receipt of donations from foreign governments that were accepted while the former first lady served in the State Department and after she departed in early 2013

He pointed to the track record of his global philanthropy as Hillary Rodham Clinton nears an announcement on a 2016 presidential campaign 

Bill told moderator Larry Wilmore of the cable channel Comedy Central: ‘My theory about all of this is disclose everything and then let people make their judgments.

‘I believe we have done a lot more good than harm and I believe this is a good thing.’

He spoke shortly after Hillary appeared on stage along with the couple’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, but steered clear of addressing criticism involving her use of a private email account while she served as secretary of state under President Barack Obama.

Hillary also did not talk about the recent scrutiny of the foundation’s fundraising practices, instead giving college students a preview of an upcoming report on the progress of women and girls by her foundation’s ‘No Ceilings’ project.

On the donations flap, Bill noted that some of the foundation’s money has come from Middle Eastern nations, referencing to donations from the United Arab Emirates.

‘Do we agree with everything they do? No. But they’re helping us fight ISIS,’ he said.

Bill said he did not agree with the entire foreign policy of Saudi Arabia, another donor, but he pointed to its construction of the kingdom’s first coeducational institution.

He said the foundation has received donations from more than 300,000 people since its inception.

‘You’ve got to decide when you do this work whether it will do more good than harm if someone helps you from another country,’ he said.

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