Hillary Clinton grew perturbed on Friday when asked in an interview if she will release transcripts from speeches she gave in private settings to Wall Street patrons. Her campaign communications director Brian Fallon also dodged a question about the speeches, saying that the campaign will have to “see what transcripts exist.”
“I said that I would look into that,” a visibly annoyed Clinton told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday when asked about releasing the transcripts, which was brought up in Thursday night’s debate by MSNBC co-moderator Chuck Todd. Clinton said during the prime time debate that she would “look into” releasing the transcripts.
Contracts that Clinton signed through Harry Walker Agency with corporations, universities and other organizations stipulated that on top of a lucrative $225,000 speaking fee, Clinton’s speeches would be transcribed on her behalf.
Of particular interest are the transcripts for speeches Clinton gave to her Wall Street clients. The Democrat was paid nearly $3 million to speak at events held by financial services companies. And Goldman Sachs, one of the most successful investment banks, paid her $675,000 for three speaking engagements after she left the State Department.
Those financial ties have provided fodder for Clinton’s opponents who say that she is in the pocket of the big banks. Clinton’s denial of those charges has been met with requests from reporters and others to provide proof in the form of the speech transcripts. Clinton was asked by a reporter last month if she would release the transcripts, and she laughed off the question. But Todd’s question at Thursday’s debate renewed interest in the topic.
In a separate interview on MSNBC on Friday, Fallon was asked if the transcripts would be released and said that the campaign is “continuing to look into that.”
“We’ll take a look at that and see what transcripts exist, make sure that they’re available still,” he added without elaborating on where the transcripts may have gone.
He went on to accuse Vermont Sen. [crscore]Bernie Sanders[/crscore] of “very scurrilously” engaging in “insinuation and innuendo” by suggesting that Clinton’s integrity has been compromised by the Wall Street speaking fees and campaign contributions.
Clinton also took aim at Sanders.
“Here’s what’s really going on,” she said in her interview with Mitchell. “This is an effort by the Sanders campaign to basically say that anybody who’s ever taken a donation, not just by Wall Street, if you take it to the natural conclusion, anybody is bought and paid for.”
“That is absolutely untrue.”
She also said that she was not sorry that she gave highly-paid speeches, “because I thought it was a good way to communicate what I was seeing in the world, to answer questions about that, my term as secretary of state.”
“I think it was a useful exercise for me because it also enabled me to kind of think through where I was in the assessment of what I would do next.”