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.
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on Oct. 7, 2016 at 3:03 p.m.
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 Wall Street, health care, and trade policy (“my dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders”).
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 flagged excerpts don’t provide context for Clinton’s remarks, but include several comments in which she appears to express strong pro-trade sentiments.
“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders,” Clinton is quoted as telling a Brazilian bank in 2013. “We have to resist, protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade.”
Clinton opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but has faced criticism from both Sanders and Trump for adopting what they charge is a politically convenient stance.
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.”
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