Clinton’s paid speeches to Goldman Sachs and other financial firms were a point of contention during this year’s primary. A hacked email to campaign chairman John Podesta, made public Friday, appears to show excerpts Clinton’s research team flagged internally, including remarks she made about Wall Street and trade policy.
Excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s closed-door paid speeches, including to financial firms, appeared to be made public for the first time on Friday when WikiLeaks published hundreds of hacked emails from her campaign chairman.
The speech transcripts, a major subject of contention during the Democratic primary, include quotes from Clinton about her distance from middle-class life (“I’m kind of far removed”); her vision of strategic governing (“you need both a public and a private position”); and her views on trade, health care, and Wall Street (“even if it may not be 100 percent true, if the perception is that somehow the game is rigged.”)
John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman, was the latest victim in a wave of hacks on key figures in Democratic politics and the political establishment in what administration officials say is an effort by Russia to undermine the election.
Clinton research director Tony Carrk sent the excerpts in an email to Podesta and other senior aides, sourcing the “the flags from HRC’s paid speeches” to the Harry Walker Agency, the firm that represented Clinton and arranged her dozens of public and private paid speech deals after she left the State Department in early 2013.
The email is dated Jan. 25, 2016, with the subject line, “HRC Paid Speeches.”
Carrk identified and sent the “highlights” in the email, telling Podesta and Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, that there were “a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub” with the campaign’s policy department.
Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said the campaign would not be confirming the authenticity of any of the emails made public on Friday. But administration officials, he said, have “removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump’s candidacy.”
U.S. officials have also warned that Russia could be “doctoring” hacked emails, including those stolen this summer from the Democratic National Committee.
During this year’s long-fought Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders repeatedly pressed Clinton to release the transcripts of the speeches, which were delivered to a variety of groups, including major firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
Late last year, Clinton said she would “look into” releasing the transcripts. She never did, arguing that Republicans and others should also release theirs. “Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them,” she told ABC this February. “We’ll all release them at the same time.”
Late into the primary, Sanders argued that the American people had a right to know what Clinton told well-heeled audiences on Wall Street about her economic policy.
“We all rely on the market’s transparency and integrity. So even if it may not be 100 percent true, if the perception is that somehow the game is rigged, that should be a problem for all of us, and we have to be willing to make that absolutely clear,” Clinton said in one apparent excerpt, softening an assertion she has made frequently on the trail, that “the economy is rigged in favor of those at the top.”
In the same remarks, attributed to a 2014 speech to Deutsche Bank, Clinton also said that much of financial reform “really has to come from the industry itself.”
The apparent speech transcripts have spilled out into the public as young voters and progressives, including those who flocked to Sanders’ campaign, still have questions about Clinton and may turn to a third-party candidate in the fall.
In one excerpt identified as part of a speech to the Xerox company in March 2014, Clinton talked about the need for “two sensible, moderate, pragmatic parties.”
I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with Policy.
In terms of what was opened to the press and what was not, the Washington Examiner got a hold of one of the private speech contracts (her speeches to universities were typically open press), so this is worth a read[.]
The “flags” to which Carrk refers were damaging statements Clinton made during the speeches.
In one such flag entitled *CLINTON ADMITS SHE IS OUT OF TOUCH*, Clinton admits that she is no longer in touch with middle class Americans:
“My father loved to complain about big business and big government, but we had a solid middle class upbringing. We had good public schools. We had accessible health care. We had our little, you know, one-family house that, you know, he saved up his money, didn’t believe in mortgages. So I lived that. And now, obviously, I’m kind of far removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it.”
In another flag entitled *CLINTON SAYS YOU NEED TO HAVE A PRIVATE AND PUBLIC POSITION ON POLICY* admits she has two positions on every issue, one for public consumption, and another in private:
But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.
Another flag called *CLINTON TALKS ABOUT HOLDING WALL STREET ACCOUNTABLE ONLY FOR POLITICAL REASONS* would seemingly confirm everything Bernie Sanders had said about Clinton during the primary campaign, that her opposition to Wall Street was more about politics than principle:
That was one of the reasons that I started traveling in February of ‘09, so people could, you know, literally yell at me for the United States and our banking system causing this everywhere. Now, that’s an oversimplification we know, but it was the conventional wisdom. And I think that there’s a lot that could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing what happened with greater transparency, with greater openness on all sides, you know, what happened, how did it happen, how do we prevent it from happening? You guys help us figure it out and let’s make sure that we do it right this time. And I think that everybody was desperately trying to fend off the worst effects institutionally, governmentally, and there just wasn’t that opportunity to try to sort this out, and that came later.”
In a flag entitled *CLINTON REMARKS ARE PRO KEYSTONE AND PRO TRADE*, Clinton declared in a speech to a Brazilian bank that she dreams of a hemisphere-wide common market with open borders:
“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
Additional flags included *CLINTON ADMITS NEEDING WALL STREET FUNDING*, *CLINTON SUGGESTS WALL STREET INSIDERS ARE WHAT IS NEEDED TO FIX WALL STREET*, *CLINTON TOUTS HER RELATIONSHIP TO WALL STREET AS A SENATOR*, *CLINTON SUGGESTS SHE IS A MODERATE*, *CLINTON IS AWARE OF SECURITY CONCERNS AROUND BLACKBERRIES*.
Read the full email below: