(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)
Hillary Clinton’s refusal to release transcripts of her paid speeches to major banks dogged her candidacy during the primary, when her opponent Bernie Sanders used the issue to paint her as too close to Wall Street.
Now excerpts from some of those speeches have emerged in a hacked email released by WikiLeaks on Friday. The January email, which was sent by the Clinton campaign’s research director to campaign chairman John Podesta and other campaign officials, was first noticed by Buzzfeed.
The excerpts were referred to as “flags” compiled by the Henry Walker Agency, the speaker’s bureau that represented Clinton, suggesting staff was keeping tabs on remarks that may be controversial down the line.
One comment in particular could prove problematic in an election in which immigration and international trade have been flashpoints.
In a 2013 speech to a Brazilian bank, Clinton said “my dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.” She goes on to say that she wants “energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
In a 2014 speech to Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, she also ruminated about her connection to the middle class.
Two years before Sanders and Donald Trump electrified voters with complaints about a “rigged” system, Clinton said “I do think there is a growing sense of anxiety and even anger in the country over the feeling that the game is rigged.”
She said she didn’t have that concern during her “solid middle class upbringing.”
“I’m kind of far removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it,” Clinton said.
It’s unclear how WikiLeaks obtained the email. But U.S. officials have accused hackers backed by the Russian government of trying to meddle in this year’s election.
"We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange," the head of WikiLeaks, "who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton," said campaign spokesman Glen Caplin.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press) (Gerald Herbert / Associated Press) (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)