Washington: Three of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to Goldman Sachs have been released by WikiLeaks, casting an awkward spotlight on the Democrat’s ties to the biggest players on Wall Street in the final stretch of the White House race.
Clinton’s campaign did not contest the authenticity of the remarks, which were part of a huge trove of documents hacked from the emails of campaign chairman John Podesta by WikiLeaks.
The campaign has blamed the Russian government for the hacks, a view shared by the US government, and accused the anti-secrecy website of seeking to help Clinton’s Republican rival for the presidency Donald Trump.
Among other issues, Clinton is shown in the speeches offering opinions on financial regulations, relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the negative effects of previous WikiLeaks releases on US foreign policy.
Clinton’s remarks are not dramatically out of step with her public remarks on the same issues, though they may read as a bit more forthright in style.
In her October 2013 address to Goldman Sachs, she suggested something had to be done to rein in Wall Street abuses “for political reasons.”
“There was also a need to do something because for political reasons, if you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it’s all the fault of Wall Street, you can’t sit idly by and do nothing,” Clinton said.
Clinton made the paid speeches to the financial giant between the time she left her position as secretary of state and started her White House bid.
Her record of delivering speeches for Goldman Sachs was a campaign staple for her Democratic primary rival Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who argued that she could not be relied upon to regulate firms by which she has been paid.
Her White House rival Trump has scrambled to try to use the hacked emails against her, notably accusing Clinton aides of improperly securing inside information from the Obama administration about the investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state.
He has also seized heavily on other documents recently released by WikiLeaks, showing that Clinton, in private speeches to major banks in 2013 and 2014, expressed views in favor of free trade and Wall Street self-regulation that are at odds with her positions as a candidate.