Spotlight on Clinton's Goldman Sachs speeches

A sign is displayed in the reception of Goldman Sachs in Sydney, Australia.
A sign is displayed in the reception of Goldman Sachs in Sydney, Australia.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • Three of Mrs Hillary Clinton's paid speeches to Goldman Sachs have been released by WikiLeaks, casting an awkward spotlight on the Democrat's ties to Wall Street in the final stretch of the White House race.

Mrs Clinton's campaign did not contest the authenticity of the remarks, part of a huge trove of documents hacked from the e-mail messages of campaign chairman John Podesta by WikiLeaks.

The campaign has blamed Russia for the hacks, a view shared by the US government, and accused the anti-secrecy website of seeking to help Mrs Clinton's Republican rival, tycoon Donald Trump.

Among other issues, Mrs Clinton is shown in the speeches offering opinions on financial regulations, relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the negative effects of previous WikiLeaks releases on US foreign policy. Her remarks are not dramatically out of step with her public remarks on the same issues, though they may read as a bit more forthright.

In her October 2013 address to Goldman Sachs, she suggested something had to be done to rein in Wall Street abuses "for political reasons".

"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," she said.

Mrs Clinton made the paid speeches, released on Saturday, between the time she left her position as secretary of state and started her White House bid. Her record of delivering speeches for Goldman Sachs was a campaign staple for her Democratic primary rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who argued that she could not be relied upon to regulate firms by which she had been paid.

Mr Trump has tried to use the hacked e-mail against her, notably accusing Clinton aides of improperly securing inside information from the Obama administration about the probe into her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2016, with the headline 'Spotlight on Clinton's Goldman Sachs speeches'. Print Edition | Subscribe