'Open Trade and Open Borders': Hacked Emails Contain Transcripts of Clinton Paid Speeches
Emails obtained illegally from the inbox of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chair, appear to contain partial transcripts of Clinton's paid speaking engagements that could have harmed her had they leaked to the press.
In one paid speech to the National Multi-Housing Council in April 2013, for example, Clinton's staff highlighted that she had said that "YOU NEED TO HAVE A PRIVATE AND PUBLIC POSITION ON POLICY [sic]."
"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 [sic]," read an excerpt from the transcript.
Clinton earned $225,000 for that speech, according to her financial disclosures.
Clinton said in a speech to Banco Itau, an Italian bank, that she supported "open borders" and free trade in May 2013.
"My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere," she said. Clinton pocketed $225,000 for the Banco Itau speech.
The excerpts were described as "flags" from the Democratic nominee's paid speeches as identified by "HWA," likely an acronym for the Harry Walker Agency, which represented both Clintons on the paid speaking circuit.
Other transcripts showed her touting her "great relations" with Wall Street and featured her defending big banks against the "oversimplification" people made when blaming them for the financial crisis.
She told Nexenta, a technology company, in a 2014 paid speech that she was aware of the rules barring Blackberry use at the State Department.
"When I Got To The State Department, It Was Still Against The Rules To Let Most — Or Let All Foreign Service Officers Have Access To A Blackberry [sic]," Clinton said.
Speaking to Goldman Sachs and Black Rock in Feb. 2014, Clinton admitted she was out of touch with the "anxiety" experienced by people in the middle class.
"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," she said.
Clinton faced pressure during the Democratic primary to release the transcripts of her paid speaking engagements to banks and other special interest groups.
Her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, had questioned whether she could be trusted to crack down on the excesses of Wall Street after accepting so much money from the financial sector, both personally and for her political campaigns.
Clinton has also weathered criticism for flip-flopping on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she hailed as the "gold standard" in trade agreements during her tenure as secretary of state.
But Clinton came out against the deal amid a progressive uprising sparked by Sanders' opposition to TPP. Although Clinton has said she would renegotiate the trade deal as president, some progressives have remained skeptical that she would mount any real resistance to the deal.
The 2,050 emails obtained from Podesta's inbox by a hacker were published by WikiLeaks. The website claimed to be in possession of 50,000 Podesta emails, noting that the records released Friday were just those that dealt with the campaign's responses to some of the negative stories that plagued the early months of Clinton's campaign.