Back in September when the travelling press corps asked Hillary Clinton who her favourite world leader was, she was quick to name German Chancellor Angela Merkel as her top choice — for good reasons. As Clinton was praising Mekrel, the German government was busy syphoning millions to the Clintons.

Between July and September 2016, unwitting German taxpayers gave as much as $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, Germany newspaper Die Welt reveals. Die Welt asked if Chancellor Merkel was trying to influence the outcome of U.S. presidential election.

According to a newly surfaced donor list, the Clinton charity received around $5 million from Germany’s Ministry for Environment. Ministry’s spokesperson said that they had “very positive experience” with the Clinton Foundation and the millions of dollars diverted to the Clintons were going to planting trees in countries like India, Mexico, and Vietnam.

The total amount of German taxpayer contribution to Clinton Foundation is not yet known. It is unclear if the Merkel government made further payments to the Clinton charity through other ministries or state-run agencies. German newspaper Die Welt details the government transaction:

The newly released list of donors show that Federal [German] Ministry for Environment transferred millions to the [Clinton] Foundation. In the third quarter of 2016, at the height of [Clinton’s] campaign, German taxpayers gave up to five million dollars to the family foundation.

Some observers believe that German government has some explaining to do for the donation that appears under the heading “Donors and Grantors”. “Why does a Ministry supports the election campaign of a U.S. presidential candidate?” asked Vera Lengsfeld — former civil rights activist and German parliamentarian — in her blog. “It seems German taxpayers unwittingly financed Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.”

Environment Ministry however told DIE WELT that it “categorically doesn’t give any donations.” The said amount relates to “financing under the framework of [Germany’s] International Climate Initiative (IKI)” [Author’s translation]

After Republican candidate Donal Trump won the White House, Merkel’s investments went south.

Members of Merkel’s government have made no effort to hide their disgust for the new President-elect. Right before the U.S. election, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called Republican candidate a “hate preacher.” Merkel’s second-in-command, Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned U.S. voters of impending doom if they were to elect Trump. Following Trump’s win, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter that the world was about to “get crazier.”

In her very first message to President-elect Trump, Merkel lectured him on gender, racial, and religious equality.

Since 1997, the Clinton Foundation has been able to collect and estimated $2 billion from corporations, rich donors, and foreign governments. State and non-state actors from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and China were among foundation’s big donors.

Foreign donations — or as the Clintons affectionately calls them, “gifts” —  have taken a nose dive since Clinton lost her presidential bid. Why this sudden dip in interest for “tree planting” activity in India and Mexico? One does wonder.

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton’s says Angela Merkel is her favourite world leader:

[Cover image courtesy CBS News, Youtube]