Hillary Clinton’s State Department spent millions of taxpayer dollars on lavish goods and frivolous initiatives, such as a $5.4 million “no-bid contract for crystal stemware” and $630,000 to “increase Facebook likes on four State Department pages.”
The expenditures appeared in a 21-page memo, prepared by the Republican National Committee, that documented the financial mismanagement that occurred at the State Department under Clinton’s watch.
While wasteful spending is a familiar find at most federal agencies, Clinton presided over particularly expensive unsuccessful reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Her agency spent more than $600 million on failed projects in those two countries alone, according to the RNC memo.
The projects included a $3.6 million fleet of “unused broadcast TV trucks” in Afghanistan and $167.5 million on “preventable cost overruns while expanding embassy Kabul.”
The State Department spent an additional $9.8 million on purchases the GOP characterized as “frivolous,” such as the $79,000 in taxpayer funds Clinton’s agency used to buy up copies of President Obama‘s book or the $53,004 her agency spent on “marble polishing services” at the U.S. embassy in Brasilia “during the summer of 2010.”
Donald Trump seized on the State Department’s shoddy book-keeping during the third presidential debate, arguing $6 billion had gone “missing” when Clinton was at the agency’s helm.
His comments were likely based on a March 2014 memo from the State Department inspector general in which the watchdog noted contract files for projects worth up to $6 billion had disappeared since 2008. With no paper trail to document the progress of those projects, there was no way for the inspector general to verify that the money ended up in the proper place, the watchdog argued.
Clinton called Trump’s claim “debunked.”
The Republican nominee has made the waste, fraud and abuse that has become commonplace in federal agencies a feature of his campaign with his latest push to “Drain the Swamp” in Washington.
While Clinton has pushed an expansion of many major government programs, she has long been an advocate of public-private partnerships to achieve policy goals, an approach she touts as a step toward lessening the burden of programs on taxpayers.
The RNC planned to pair the release on Thursday of its State Department spending memo with related graphics on social media.