Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs is traveling with Bill and Chelsea Clinton this week as part of the Clinton philanthropic foundation’s annual excursion through Africa.
“It’s been a great trip,” said Jacobs, who was reached Thursday in Tanzania. He shrugged off a reported problem with the Clinton plane’s engine that forced an unscheduled landing and said the media should instead focus on the foundation’s good work.
“We went touring the various Clinton initiative sites,” he said. “We saw about 70 children getting vaccinations today, vaccinations they would never get. We’ve also seen programs on empowering women. I think it represents our country very well.”
Jacobs, who is traveling with his wife Mindy and other foundation contributors, is an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton’s bid for president and is a longtime donor to the Clinton Foundation. Politico magazine reported this week that Jacobs, who owns summer camps, has donated as much as $1 million to the foundation.
Jacobs said the report is “not inaccurate. I’ve been doing this since 2003, so I am committed to giving donations every year in large numbers. This is not my only philanthropic enterprise ... but it is a large one.”
While news reports have focused on how the foundation raises money, he said, “I’m here seeing how it spends its money. Every American would be proud to see what this foundation is doing, literally saving lives.”
The Nassau Democrat said the group will fly to Nairobi Thursday evening. He said he should be back at work on Long Island by May 8.