Potentially problematic excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches were flagged for her campaign in an email that was sent to chairman John Podesta and other senior staff this past January.
The email was released Friday by Wikileaks, part of a batch of what it says were 2,060 emails hacked from an account belonging to Podesta. The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the emails.
“Team, attached are the flags from HRC’s paid speeches we have from HWA. I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with policy,” a staffer wrote on January 25, 2016.
Harry Walker Agency is the speaker’s bureau that arranged Clinton’s lucrative speech circuit after she left the State Department, which included $3 million dollars from speeches to banks and financial firms -- $675,000 came from three speeches from Goldman Sachs. The 25 flagged excerpts likely point to why Clinton and her campaign have refused to release the transcripts, despite coming under fire from Senator Bernie Sanders during the primary.
Less than two weeks after the email was sent, on February 4, Clinton was asked during a debate whether she’d release the transcripts of all her paid speeches and she said, “I will look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.”
When asked again during an April 4 debate, Clinton said she would release them if Sanders and Donald Trump released their tax returns. “You know, let’s set the same standard for everybody,” Clinton said. “When everybody does it, OK, I will do it, but let’s set and expect the same standard on tax returns.”
The first flagged email is headed “Clinton Admits She Is Out of Touch.” In a February 4, 2014 speech to what was referred to as “Goldman-Black Rock”, Clinton said “And I am not taking a position on any policy, but I do think there is a growing sense of anxiety and even anger in the country over the feeling that the game is rigged…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.”
Another flag came from a speech to the National Multi-Housing Council on April 24, 2013: “Clinton Says You Need to Have a Private and Public Position on Policy.”
“I mean, politics is like sausage being made,” she said in the speech according to the excerpt. “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 little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”
In an October 23, 2013 speech to the Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, “Clinton Talks About Holding Wall Street Accountable Only for Political Reasons.”
Clinton said she started traveling in February of 2009 “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?”
Other excerpts from the internal email are flagged as “CLINTON SUGGESTS WALL STREET INSIDERS ARE WHAT IS NEEDED TO FIX WALL STREET, *CLINTON ADMITS NEEDING WALL STREET FUNDING”, “CLINTON TOUTS HER RELATIONSHIP TO WALL STREET AS A SENATOR”, “CLINTON TALKS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES RUNNING FOR OFFICE”, “CLINTON IS AWARE OF SECURITY CONCERNS AROUND BLACKBERRIES”, “CLINTON REMARKS ARE PRO KEYSTONE AND PRO TRADE”, “CLINTON IS MORE FAVORABLE TO CANADIAN HEALTH CARE AND SINGLE PAYER”
A Clinton campaign official did not immediately respond to a request for comment.