Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Lauren Carroll
By Lauren Carroll October 2, 2016

Fact-checking Rudy Giuliani on Meet the Press

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says Hillary Clinton is only pretending to be a feminist.

On NBC’s Meet the Press Oct. 2, Giuliani criticized the Democratic presidential nominee for "attacking" women who have accused her husband, former President Bill Clinton, of sexual abuse. He also brought up Hillary Clinton’s record on human rights.

"A woman who pretends to be a feminist shouldn't be taking money from countries where women are stoned, where women are killed for adultery, and women can't drive," Giuliani said. "She's taken hundreds of millions from those countries."

Giuliani was referring to the Clinton Foundation, which has brought in significant amounts of money from foreign entities and governments to fund its international charitable programs.

One of the biggest concerns about the Clinton Foundation is that some of this foreign money came from countries with questionable records on human rights, as well as countries that had business before the State Department while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

On this particular claim, though, Giuliani stretches the truth. The donations from the countries in question do not come close to "hundreds of millions" of dollars. And the money goes to the foundation, not to Clinton.

Giuliani specifically mentioned countries where women are stoned, killed for adultery and can’t drive. By our count — using the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Cornell University’s death penalty database — we found four countries who fall loosely into these categories: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Here’s a chart laying out those countries’ stance on adultery, stoning and women driving, and donations to the Clinton Foundation. (The foundation lists donors on its website, organized into groups based on the size of the donation, without giving the specific dollar amount.)


Donation to Clinton Foundation

Women’s rights issues

Saudi Arabia

$10 million - $25 million

Women are not allowed to drive. Adultery is illegal, and perpetrators can be sentenced to death by stoning.


$5 million - $10 million

Featured Fact-check

Lenient sentence for a person who kills someone caught in the act of adultery.

United Arab Emirates

$1 million - $5 million

Sharia courts allow flogging as a punishment for adultery, and stoning is a form of execution.


$50,000 - $100,000

Lenient sentence for a person who kills someone caught in the act of adultery.


In total, the Clinton Foundation brought in between $16.05 million and $40.1 million. That’s not a small number, but it’s nowhere near "hundreds of millions." Saudi Arabia is the clearest example of what Giuliani is talking about, and it donated a maximum of $25 million.

We should note that outside the narrow band of countries that ban women from driving and stone them for adultery, a few other countries with other women’s rights issues donated to the Clinton Foundation.

For example, Qatar, which donated between $1 million and $5 million, allows for flogging (non-lethal) as a punishment for adultery. And Brunei, which donated between $1 million and $5 million, specifically says spousal intercourse cannot be considered rape.

But even if you expand the group of foundation donors to countries that have significant women’s rights issues generally, the donations do not amount to "hundreds of millions" of dollars.

It’s also important to note Giuliani’s phrasing. He said, "She's taken hundreds of millions from those countries," referring to Hillary Clinton herself.

But the donations did not go to Clinton personally; they went to the foundation. While Clinton has been intimately involved in the foundation when not serving in the government or running for office, neither Clinton nor her political campaigns have ever received a direct monetary benefit, such as a salary, from the foundation.

Our ruling

Giuliani said Hillary Clinton has "taken hundreds of millions from those countries" where "women are stoned, where women are killed for adultery and women can't drive."

The Clinton Foundation, not Clinton personally, has taken in tens of millions of dollars, not hundreds of millions, from countries that have questionable records on women’s rights, including those that ban driving and stone women for adultery.

Giuliani’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.

Our Sources

NBC Meet the Press, "Rudy Giuliani Full Interview: Trump Tax Story Proves Nothing," Oct. 2, 2016

PolitiFact, "Did Hillary Clinton take money from countries that treat women, gays poorly?" July 18, 2016

PolitiFact, "Fact-checking donations to the Clinton Foundation," July 7, 2016

PolitiFact, "Obeidallah: Saudi Arabia is the only Muslim nation where women can't drive," Oct. 7, 2014

PolitiFact, "Ben Carson: Do any Muslim countries have women's rights, gay rights or religious freedom?" Sept. 25, 2015

Clinton Foundation, Contributor and Grantor Information, June 2016

State Department, "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015," accessed Oct. 2, 2016

Cornell Law School, death penalty database, accessed Oct. 2, 2016

Washington Post, "Clintons’ foundation has raised nearly $2 billion — and some key questions," Feb. 18, 2015

Email interview, Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin, Oct. 2, 2016

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Lauren Carroll

Fact-checking Rudy Giuliani on Meet the Press

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up