Reuters International

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at a gathering of law enforcement leaders at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, U.S., August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Clinton Foundation will stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton is elected president and will stop holding the annual Clinton Global Initiative meetings whatever the outcome of the November election, a foundation spokesman said on Thursday.

Former President Bill Clinton told staff members on Thursday he would resign from the foundation's board and that it would only accept donations from U.S. citizens and independent charities.

The former president also said he would hold the 12th and final Clinton Global Initiative in September. The annual meetings have included current and former heads of state, corporate leaders and celebrities who discussed poverty, healthcare, development and other issues.

Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian confirmed the moves, which were first reported by the Associated Press.

The foundation has come under fire during Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential campaign, with Republicans charging that donors were rewarded with access to her and her aides as well as her husband while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

Other critics have said the foundation's reliance on millions of dollars from foreign governments created conflicts of interest for a would-be U.S. president.

Clinton resigned from the foundation's board after launching her successful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. She will face Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election.

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, founded in 2001, has raised more than $2 billion (£1.5 billion) for causes that focus on health and environmental issues, mainly in the developing world.

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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