Hillary Clinton on defensive amid campaign distractions

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is trying to frame her campaign around issues like immigration reform, but her message has been muddled by a series of recent distractions, including questions about donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Now, her campaign is trying once again to break through the noise, reports CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman.

Timed to the release of a book alleging improper donations to the foundation, the Clinton campaign is launching what it's calling "The Briefing" -- a one-stop shop online and through social media that includes video to "provide the facts about Hillary Clinton's positions and her record."

"The bottom line is this: As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton made decisions based on her commitment to protecting America's national security and standing up for freedom around the world, not the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation," Hillary for America Press Secretary Brian Fallon said.

"Clinton Cash" officially hits book stores today, but over the last several weeks, advanced copies and other reporting have raised questions about Bill Clinton's relationships with wealthy donors and whether they expected anything in return from the former secretary of state.

"I asked Hillary about this, and she said no one's ever tried to influence me by helping you," former President Bill Clinton said to NBC's "Today" show.

During a tour of Clinton Foundation projects in Africa, Bill came to his wife's defense.

He said they have never done anything "knowingly inappropriate" with the tens of millions of dollars the foundation received from foreign donors.

He also said he would continue to give paid speeches, which in the past have fetched on average a half a million dollars.

So far, the book and related stories haven't established a quid pro quo or anything unlawful, but they have revealed instances in which the foundation and its affiliates were not as transparent as promised.

And it may be taking a toll on candidate Clinton already.

In a recent Associated Press-GFK poll, 61 percent said the word "honest" describes her only slightly well or not at all. Another poll, by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, show negative views of Hillary Clinton are on the rise, increasing to 42 percent from 36 percent. The trend started after she entered the presidential race last month

"When you vote for the Clintons you get a lot of good things, but in the package also comes something kind of bad, which is ethical transgressions," University of Virginia Director for Politics Larry Sabato said.

Adding to the distractions, Clinton's lawyer said Monday she would be willing to testify before the Congressional committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack, and also take questions on her use of personal e-mail, but that she'll only appear once, and not twice as asked, the week of May 18.