During an MSNBC-run town hall event hosted by Chuck Todd, Hillary Clinton was asked why she refuses to release transcripts or audio/video of her paid speeches to investment bank Goldman Sachs. Since leaving her former role as Secretary of State, Clinton has done three speeches for the bank in which she was paid a total of $675,000.
“As the Democratic presidential candidate who has delivered speeches to the largest U.S. financial institution in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees, why are you hesitant to release transcripts or audio/video recordings of those meetings in order to be transparent with the American people regarding the promises and the assurances that you have made to the big banks.”
Positioning of herself as the target of a media hostile to her candidacy, Clinton implied a double standard was being applied towards her when compared with other candidates.
“I am happy to release anything I have when everybody else does the same, because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups, including Senator Sanders.”
Putting aside the decontextualization of conflating her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs with paid speeches made by other candidates to unspecified “private groups,” it should be noted that Clinton’s speaking contracts required transcriptionist services, the content of which was designated as her exclusive property. The same is likely true for audio and video recordings of her speeches.
Posturing as angry, a shrill Clinton then presented herself as a class warrior champion, promising to go after Wall Street in defense of Main Street.
The audience member pressed the point, asking again for the release of the transcripts while this time invoking Clinton’s previous support to the preservation of the integrity of government recognition of marriage and opposition to sanctioned “gay marriage.”
“It actually broke my heart when you said marriage was between a man and a woman. How can we trust that this isn’t just more political rhetoric. Please just release those transcripts so that we know exactly where you stand,” said the man.
Referencing her reception of an endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign - an “LGBT rights” group informally attached to the Democratic National Committee - Clinton described herself as having “evolved” on the issue of marriage.
Politico reported that one attendee of at least one of Clinton’s speeches at the investment firm described her as “sound[ing] more like a Goldman Sachs managing director,” adding that it was “glowing” in its disposition towards the company.
Clinton has positioned herself as an enemy of Wall Street’s greed, regularly rebuking “large corporations” for not “paying their fair share” of taxes.
Clinton has also charged hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to publicly-funded colleges and universities while simultaneously calling for reduced tuition fees.
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