Facebook Twitter Tumblr Close Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Clinton Foundation Isn’t Charging FEMA

Q: Is the Clinton Foundation charging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send supplies to victims of Hurricane Harvey?

A:  No. That claim originated on a satirical news site. The Clinton Foundation has not charged FEMA for bottled water or other relief items.


I saw in a Google search that the Clinton Foundation is charging FEMA $7.00 a bottle for water they are sending them for flood relief. Is this true?


A story published Aug. 30 on ourlandofthefree.com claims that the Clinton Foundation is taking advantage of “Obama era rules” to charge FEMA for hurricane-related necessities like bottled water and hygiene products. The headline says, “Clinton Foundations [sic] Sends Water To Houston…For $7 A Bottle.”

According to the story: “The Clinton Foundation is using an outdated rule for non-profits that states that they ‘have the right to compete in the free market regardless of who the competition is.’ What that translates to is, ‘Since the guy on the corner is fleecing the terrified storm survivor for $7 per bottle, that’s what we get to charge the federal government.'”

It also says the “Clintons stand to bring hundreds of millions of dollars into their foundation for ‘flood relief'” by overcharging FEMA for items such as toilet paper, tampons and ice.

That’s all false. FEMA, which leads the federal response to natural and man-made disasters, is not “under contract to pay” non-profits like the Clinton Foundation for supplies due to “an out-dated rule.” The story was intentionally fabricated.

As we have written before, a disclaimer on ourlandofthefree.com says that it’s a “satirical” website that “makes no guarantee that anything you find here will be based at all in reality.” Facebook users reported the bogus story after it was published Aug. 31 on freshdaily.news, a website with its own satire disclaimer.

In an email to FactCheck.org, Clinton Foundation spokesman Brian Cookstra confirmed that the organization has “encouraged people to donate to relief efforts on the ground,” but has had no part in selling supplies to FEMA. “Nothing in this story is true,” Cookstra wrote.

On Aug. 28, days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, the Clinton Foundation did share a list of “members of the Clinton Foundation community” that were contributing to relief efforts. But those organizations donated food, water, medicine and other items to local groups, shelters and churches. They did not sell supplies to FEMA.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label viral fake news stories flagged by readers on the social media network.


Cookstra, Brian, director of communications for the Clinton Foundation. Email interview with FactCheck.org. 6 Sep 2017.


BREAKING: Clinton Foundations Sends Water To Houston… For $7 A Bottle.” Freshdaily.news. 31 Aug 2017.

BREAKING: Clinton Foundations Sends Water To Houston… For $7 A Bottle.” Ourlandofthefree.com. 30 Aug 2017.

About Us. Ourlandofthefree.com. Accessed 9 Sep 2017.

Disclaimer. Freshdaily.news. Accessed 9 Sep 2017.

Schaedel, Sydney. “Websites that Post Fake and Satirical Stories.” FactCheck.org. 6 Jul 2017.

Chavez, Nicole, and Levenson, Eric. “Powerful Hurricane Harvey makes landfall in Texas.” CNN. 25 Aug 2017.

Clinton Foundation. “The response to Hurricane Harvey by members of the Clinton Foundation community; Ways to support.” Medium.com. 28 Aug 2017.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Coordinated Response to Hurricane Harvey Continues: Federal efforts continue to support survivors with recovery and rebuilding.” FEMA.gov. 5 Sep 2017.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. “The Road to Recovery: The federal family’s coordinated efforts to support survivors in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.” FEMA.gov. 2 Sep 2017.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Unified Response Efforts Underway in Response to Storm.” FEMA.gov. 31 Aug 2017.

Share the Facts

FactCheck.org rating logo FactCheck.org Rating:


“Clinton Foundations [sic] Sends Water To Houston…For $7 A Bottle.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2017