WASHINGTON — Former President Bill Clinton waded into the orbit of his wife’s presidential race Monday – and may have caused some problems for her in the process.

In an interview with NBC News, a sometimes defensive Clinton said that his family and its charitable foundation have never done anything “knowingly inappropriate” when accepting donations from foreign governments.

He also said he would continue to deliver speeches for which he is paid six figures during his wife’s presidential campaign because, he said, “I gotta pay our bills.” Clinton asserted that he had “taken almost no capital gains” over the past 15 years, a claim that does not jibe with public tax returns.

These and other remarks during the interview with NBC’s Cynthia McFadden raised concerns among Clinton associates from New York to Little Rock, who fear the former president did his wife no favors with the performance. At some points in the interview, these friends said, he came off sounding churlish and angry, while his remarks on the family’s finances risked making the Clintons seem out of touch.

In a statement Monday, the Republican National Committee said Clinton provided “deceptive responses” to questions about the foundation.

When asked whether the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation created perception problems by accepting large sums from foreign companies and governments, Clinton suggested his family was the victim of a double standard.

“People should draw their own conclusions. I’m not in politics,” he said. “All I’m saying is the idea that there’s one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else is true.”

Clinton said that no entity gave the foundation money to try to influence his wife while she served as secretary of state. “There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy,” he said.

He said his wife has told him, “No one has ever tried to influence me by helping you.”

The foundation’s finances have drawn considerable scrutiny in recent weeks from The Washington Post and other news organizations and in a new book, “Clinton Cash.”

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