Hillary Clinton delivered a number of exclusive speeches to Wall Street financiers following her time as Secretary of State. When pressed to release the transcripts, she refused – leading many to assume that she was hiding something.
This Friday, excerpts from her lucrative Wall Street speeches were posted on WikiLeaks.
Perhaps the most shocking comment is her comparison of politics to making sausage: “It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a littler nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”
In other words, Hillary is comfortable with lying to the American people.
Another worrisome opinion expressed during the speeches is Hillary’s dream to achieve “a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”
The tone and language she uses here is nothing like the progressive approach she used during her battle with primary rival Bernie Sanders, and these excerpts could have wounded her candidacy had they become public.
In her speeches to Wall Street, Hillary comes across less as a fiery liberal than as a technocrat who is willing to view big banks as partners in restoring America’s economic health. She even went so far as to suggest that it was an “oversimplification” to blame the 2008 crisis on the US banking system:
“It was conventional wisdom” to blame the banks. “And I think that there’s a lot that could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing what happened.”
As the New York Times puts it, “In the excerpts, Ms. Clinton demonstrates her long and warm ties to some of Wall Street’s most powerful figures.” In a discussion with Goldman Sachs exec. Lloyd Blankfein, for example, Hillary argues that the current political climate makes it hard for wealthy individuals to serve in government. She also admits that her own success has put her “out of touch” with the working class.
The excerpts posted on WikiLeaks this Friday come from a batch of hacked emails belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The documents include a long memo from Clinton’s research director Tony Clark, in which he highlights portions of Hillary’s remarks that could undermine her presidential campaign. “There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with Policy,” he writes.
Hillary’s campaign team refused to confirm or deny the authenticity of the excerpts and predictably blamed Russia for using WikiLeaks as a way to support Donald Trump.
In total, the Clintons have made over $120 million in paid speeches since 2001. Hillary earned around $225,000 for each Wall Street speech.
Editor’s note: Trump scored some points on this in the debate.