WikiLeaks releases full Wall Street speeches as Clinton's cozy corporate relationships confirmed

October 18, 2016
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein shakes hands with Hillary Clinton
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein shakes hands with Hillary Clinton at a Clinton Global Initiative event in 2014.

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's full remarks to several Wall Street audiences became public on October 15 when the transparency group WikiLeaks dumped its latest batch of emails obtained from the account of John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman. WikiLeaks called the latest release a “holy grail” for journalism.

The documents showed comments by Clinton during question-and-answer sessions with Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and Tim O'Neill, the bank's head of investment management, at three separate events in 2013 in Arizona, New York and South Carolina.

Some excerpts of Clinton's speeches had already been released. For more than a week, WikiLeaks has published in stages emails from the account of John Podesta.

Clinton's campaign has declined to verify the emails. However, Clinton herself effectively acknowledged the authenticity of the previously leaked excerpts when she defended her closed-door comments during the second presidential debate earlier this week. Goldman Sachs also did not immediately provide any comment.

Video: Leaked Hillary Clinton Emails: Could Bernie Sanders Have Won Primary If Leak Occurred Earlier? - Democracy Now!

The transcripts serve to reaffirm Clinton's cozy with Wall Street.

In the transcripts, Clinton campaign staff highlighted sections that could pose problems, including saying "political reasons" were the impetus behind passing the 2010 Dodd-Frank law on Wall Street reforms.  The text suggests Clinton believed Wall Street was saddled with the blame for the financial crisis by the media and she was forced to act in a situation where she might not have otherwise. 

“There was a lot of complaining about Dodd-Frank, but 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,” reads a portion of talk delivered Oct. 24, 2013 to Goldman Sachs.

The cozy relationship appeared to go both ways, with Tim O'Neill, co-head of investment management at Goldman Sachs, thanking Clinton for being “courageous” in standing by Wall Street.

Clinton came under fire for months for not releasing full details of her paid speeches to big business audiences, as opponents accused her of a close relationship with bankers and other members of the US financial system.

The excerpts that have surfaced so far angered voters who backed Clinton's former Democratic opponent, US Senator Bernie Sanders, who endorsed her after losing the party's primary.

Few of these voters are expected to vote for Republican nominee Donald Trump, who is dealing with his own scandal after the release last week of a 2005 video in which he bragged about making unwanted sexual advances toward women.

But Democratic strategists worry that disappointment with Clinton could hurt turnout in the November 8 election among liberals and younger voters, posing a potential problem for the former secretary of state.

[Reposted from TeleSUR English.]

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