WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton should cut all her links with the Clinton Foundation, former White House aspirant Bernie Sanders said on Sunday.
"Well, I would certainly suggest that as president of the United States she should cease all operations, all contact, with the Clinton Foundation," Mr Sanders told NBC News when asked about the controversy surrounding the Clinton Foundation, which was established by her husband and former president Bill for global charity purposes and humanitarian work.
"At the very least she should not be involved, at the very least...I don't know enough. They do a lot of good things with AIDS and so forth so I can't definitively answer that. But I think, what we've got to do as a nation is have a serious debate on the enormous crises facing this country. That is where our focus has got to be," said Mr Sanders, who lost to Ms Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary.
The rival Donal Trump Campaign was quick to make it a political issue.
"When Bernie Sanders and the New York Times say the Clinton Foundation presents an unacceptable conflict of interest, it shows just how badly compromised a Hillary Clinton presidency would be," alleged Jason Miller, senior communications advisor to the Trump Campaign.
"It's time for Clinton to end her 274-day streak without a press conference and explain why she thinks it is appropriate for the Clinton Foundation and its offshoots to continue accepting foreign contributions while she runs for the White House," Miller said.
In his interview, Mr Sanders said Ms Clinton is a better candidate than Trump.
"Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is going to become president of the United States and there is no question to my mind that Hillary Clinton is far, far, far and away the superior candidate," Mr Sanders said.
"Look at the issues. Which candidate is going to be raising the minimum wage to a livable wage? Which candidate is going to be making public colleges and universities tuition free? Which candidate is going to do something about the great environmental crisis we face, which is climate change, which is Hillary Clinton, and which candidate doesn't even acknowledge the reality of climate change, which is Donald Trump?" Mr Sanders said.
"Which candidate is going to create millions of jobs, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, is going to deal effectively with immigration reform and criminal justice reform. So, I think on all of those issues what people have got to say is this is not about Trump, it's not about Clinton, it's about the American people," the Vermont Senator said.
"And on all of those issues, to my mind Hillary Clinton is far and away the superior candidate. And I hope people see that," he said.