Friday, February 5, 2016

Hillary Clinton: Release the Goldman Sachs transcripts!

Last December former Vermont governor Howard Dean had endorsed Hillary Clinton for President — and ever since then, he has been heaping her with abundant praise on MSNBC. Also last December, the progressive group that Howard Dean co-founded (Democracy for America) had snubbed Dean and endorsed Bernie Sanders. Now Hillary Clinton is claiming to be a progressive. But this morning on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell, Howard Dean was literally Feeling the Bern!

He was accusing Bernie Sanders of "attacking the integrity" of Hillary Clinton by mentioning her speeches to Goldman Sachs, and all her campaign contributions from these big banks. Dean also whined about the media for asking her for the transcripts of her Goldman Sachs speeches — and accused the media and Hillary's political opponents of "double standards". Dean said it was "unseemly" and "unwarranted" — and had complained that this really "burned" him up. Yes, he actually was feeling the "bern" from Senator Bernie Sanders!

The short 1 ½ minute is below, and the full unedited interview is here at YouTube.

* Note -- Petition at Net Roots Nation: "Ask Hillary Clinton to authorize Goldman Sachs to release any video or transcript of the three speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs in three different states."

While Bernie Sanders has been contrasting the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton, he has mentioned her paid speeches to bankers and her campaign contributions from bankers. In the 5th Democratic debate last night on MSNBC, Hillary Clinton accused Senator Sanders of running an "artful smear" against her campaign — just like she disingenuously smeared Sanders with the sexist label — and made those outrageously false claims about Sanders dismantling Obamacare. (The big difference is, Bernie's so-called "smears" are true comments — whereas Hillary's smears are outright lies.)

But despite her smears, Hillary also has 40 years of experience of "artful dodges", the latest being on Goldman Sachs (yet again).

CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin interviewed Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein on the "Squawk Box" on February 3, 2016:

Sorkin: You mentioned politics, and the politics are bad, and Bernie Sanders taking a shot at you personally. How do you see this whole campaign turning out — and also, do you think that it's impacting the markets in any meaningful way?

Blankfein: It has potential to be a dangerous moment. Not just for Wall Street, not just for the people who are particularly targeted, but for anybody who is a little bit out of line.

Sorkin: I'm assuming you're backing Hillary Clinton.

Blankfein: Yes, you're assuming it. I don't want to help or hurt anybody by giving them an endorsement.

Later that day: CNN's Anderson Cooper at the Town Hall in New Hampshire is speaking to Hillary Clinton:

Cooper: One of the things that Senator Sanders points to, and a lot of your critics point to, is you made three speeches for Goldman Sachs. You were paid $675,000 for three speeches. Was that a mistake? I mean was that a bad error in judgment?

Clinton: Look. I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions.

Cooper: But did you have to be paid $675,000?

Clinton: Well, I don't know. That's what they offered (LAUGHTER) so you know, every Secretary of State that I know has done that.

Cooper: But they're not running for an office.

Clinton: Well, I didn't know. To be honest I wasn't. I wasn't committed to running. I didn't know whether I would or not.

Cooper: You didn't think you were going to run for president again?

Clinton: I didn't. You know, when I was secretary of State ... (bla, bla, bla)

Cooper: So just to be clear, that's not something you regret, those three speeches, that money?

Clinton: No, I don't, because, you know, I don't feel that I paid any price for it — and I am very clear about what I will do — and they're on notice.

The very next day, at the 5th Democratic debate hosted by MSNBC, with moderators Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd:

Maddow: Last night, when you were asked about speaking fees and the amount of speaking fees you got from Goldman Sachs speeches, you said "that's what they offered". Have you been too dismissive of voters' concerns about this issue in your own campaign and your own career?

Clinton: When I left the secretary of State's office, like so many former officials — military leaders, journalists, others — I did go on the speaking circuit. I spoke to heart doctors, I spoke to the American Camping Association, I spoke to auto dealers — and yes, I spoke to firms on Wall Street. They wanted me to talk about the world, what my experience had been as secretary of State... (bla,bla, bla)

Todd: Let me move on to our next question here. Secretary Clinton, it's addressed to you, and it's about this issue of the speeches, particularly to Goldman Sachs. This is what the questioner wrote verbatim. "I am concerned with the abuses of Wall Street has taken with the American taxpayers money," and then she asks whether you would release the transcripts of your Goldman Sachs speeches, and then added, "Don't you think the voting public has a right to know what was said?" But, let's make that bigger. Are you willing to release the transcripts of all your paid speeches? We do know, through reporting, that there were transcription services for all of those paid speeches. In full disclosure, would you release all of them?

Clinton: I will look into it. I don't know the status, but I will certainly look into it. But, I can only repeat... (bla,bla, bla) ... and I will continue to do that.

Todd: Senator Sanders, you sound like you want to respond. Go ahead...

After the 5th Democratic debate: Lee Fang, an investigative reporter at The Intercept, noted that he recently questioned Hillary Clinton about her speeches for the Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, which paid her $675,000 for just three appearances. After an earlier town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, Fang had asked Clinton if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton laughed and turned away.

The first video below in the interview by Amy Goodman, the host and executive producer of Democracy Now, of investigative journalist Lee Fang before the debate last night, where he said:

Since 2001, Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned over $115 million on the speaker circuit, going out to private corporations, foundations, special interest groups, and charging as much as $200,000, $300,000 per speech. I mean, this is really unprecedented in American history — that you have a leading candidate of a major party enriching themselves personally from special interest groups that have been lobbying them — and will be lobbying them — if they do win the White House. So there’s been a lot of talk about what these speeches actually entailed. And Hillary Clinton has defended herself, saying that she’s basically giving a boilerplate speech, she wants to have more education and more conversations, and this is healthy for our democracy. On the other hand, there have been reports that when Hillary Clinton has gone to some special interest groups — for example, she gave three speeches to Goldman Sachs, making over $600,000 from that one investment bank — that she gave a very specially tailored message, saying that she’s against all of this anti-bank populism. According to Politico, she reassured the bankers that she wouldn’t be taking the line of Elizabeth Warren or Obama really criticizing the big banks. And so, this is a big issue...

The second video below is also by Amy Goodman, again interviewing Lee Fang after the debate last night — and it pretty much sums it all up — with clips of Hillary speaking at the debate. (Who wants to place a wager that we will not see a single UN-REDACTED transcript of any speech that Hillary gave to those bankers.

My Related Post: Hillary and Bill Clinton: Breaking Bad


  1. In the sharpest exchange of the night, Clinton reacted vehemently to Bernie's truthful talking point about how much money in campaign donations and speaking fees she’s taken from Wall Street:

    "Senator Sanders has said he wants to run a positive campaign. I've tried to keep my disagreements over issues, as it should be. But time and time again, by innuendo, by insinuation, there is this attack that he is putting forth, which really comes down to -- you know, anybody who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought. And I just absolutely reject that, Senator. And I really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you. And enough is enough. If you've got something to say, say it directly."

    Actually, Bernie did say it directly. She just didn't like that he said it.

    RELEASE THE UN-REDACTED TRANSCRIPTS!!! (That will put the issue to rest.)

  2. Clinton claimed she was an enemy of Wall Street, not an ally: “Hedge fund guys are trying so hard to stop me,” she claimed. Sanders could have pointed out that Clinton had attended a fundraiser in Philadelphia hosted by hedge fund managers only last week.

    1. It would interesting to see what she had said to those bankers about the 47%

  3. Polls: Who won the 5th Democratic debate? (As of this comment)

    Bernie did, in all polls, by landslides (just like every other debate)

    Huffington Post: Bernie Sanders Sweeps Online Polls After Dominating Fifth Democratic Debate

    I found more polls that weren't even listed at the HuffPo --- all with similar results -- Bernie wins by landslides.

    70,857 Votes
    Bernie Sanders 86 %
    Hillary Clinton 14 %

    Bernie Sanders 89.99% (5,060 votes)
    Hillary Clinton 10.01% (563 votes)

    Bernie Sanders 81%
    Hillary Clinton 17%

    Bernie Sanders 91.48% (10,271 votes)
    Hillary Clinton 8.52% (957 votes)

    Bernie Sanders 87.58% (10,178 votes)
    Hillary Clinton 9.69% (1,126 votes)
    It was a draw 2.73%

    Bernie Sanders 85.4% (901 votes)
    Hillary Clinton 14.6% (154 votes)

    Bernie Sanders 74.74% (7,443 votes)
    Hillary Clinton 16.05% (1,598 votes)
    Just happy It was a great debate 9.21% (917 votes)

  4. NBC: Clinton strategist #JoelBenenson said #BernieSanders was running most negative campaign in history. Hillary agreed.

    #NBCNews is owned by Comcast whose VP #DavidCohen hosted a $2,700-a-plate fundraiser for #HillaryClinton

  5. Rachel Maddow quizzed Bernie Sanders about Clinton's big advantage in endorsements from fellow Democratic politicians from Vermont:

    "Secretary Clinton DOES represent the establishment. I represent — I hope — ordinary Americans; and by the way, who are not all that enamored with the establishment."

    Clinton then played the gender card: "Honestly, Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment. And I've got to tell you that it is really quite amusing to me."

    In 1996, when Bernie Sanders faced Republican Susan Sweetser in a bid for reelection to the House, feminist Gloria Steinem traveled to Vermont to endorse Sanders. Another speaker, a female state senator, emphasized Sanders' feminist credentials. "As we know, to be a feminist a person does not have to be a woman," she said. "A feminist is a person who challenges the power structure of this country. Bernie Sanders is that kind of feminist."

  6. The Washington Post:

    Chuck Todd asked Clinton whether she would release transcripts of the closed-door, paid speeches, which the campaign reportedly has in its possession. “I will look into it,” she said. Clinton has certainly been looking into it for a long time: “The Washington Post has repeatedly asked the campaign to release copies of Clinton’s paid speeches — most directly and pointedly for the last two weeks,” Glenn Kessler notes. “The Post specifically made the request on Jan. 23 and then again on Jan. 24. The request was renewed on Feb. 4, the morning of the MSNBC debate. Other news organizations have asked for copies as well. The silence has been deafening.”

    1. Later in the debate, Clinton was more forceful than ever in defending herself in the face of questions about her emails and an FBI security review. She called herself “100 percent confident” that the bureau's inquiry will not blow up her campaign.

  7. Hillary Clinton said at the debate: “I went to Wall Street before the crash. I was the one saying you’re going to wreck the economy because of these shenanigans with mortgages. I called to end the carried interest loophole that hedge fund managers enjoy. I proposed changes in CEO compensation.”

    WaPo Fact-Checker: Clinton said she would consider legislation if the voluntary proposals were not adopted. But when her ideas were not accepted, neither were her five proposed bills. None of them had co-sponsors (all but one) — and no Senate committee took action on them. She played little role in a major housing bill that became law in 2008. And her bill to curb corporate compensation also went nowhere.

    "I'M A PROGRESSIVE THAT LIKES TO GET THING DONE!" — Clinton's new political slogan.

    WaPo Fact-Checker: As far as reforming Wall Street, some experts have found her plan to be more comprehensive and effective than Sanders’s. She’s correct that Paul Krugman and Frank have supported her proposal (and Barney Frank actually advised her on drafting the plan). But Clinton and Sanders have both gotten support from a wide range of economists with PhDs, former and current government officials, and industry and think-tank representatives who have endorsed one plan over the other’s. And they both also received criticism from a range of experts as well.

  8. From Wall Street on Parade:

    The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign has a new strategy to get Senator Bernie Sanders to shut up about the unseemly mountains of money Wall Street has showered on her and Bill Clinton throughout their careers: in campaign funds, in speaking fees, in home mortgages, and in donations to their charity, the Clinton Global Initiative. (Details here.) The new strategy is to effectively socialize Sanders to silence by embarrassing him every time he brings up the subject.

    It should be noted that other hedge fund billionaires, like George Soros and Paloma Partners’ David Sussman, have contributed over $10 million to Hillary’s Super Pac, Priorities USA, which raked in over $41 million last year, 90 percent of which came from a handful of super wealthy individuals. Sanders has no aligned Super Pac.)

    In 2012, Hillary’s last full year as Secretary of State, Bill Clinton socked away an astonishing $16.3 million in speaking fees.

    As a perfect example of how Hillary wants to tar Sanders as smearing her while drawing a dark curtain around the facts, MSNBC moderator Chuck Todd asked her if she would release the transcripts of all of her speeches to Wall Street firms. Hillary did not seem enthusiastic and offered only that she would look into it.

  9. Washington Post:

    What Hillary Clinton should say — but can’t — about her Wall Street speaking fees

    “Wall Street” isn’t one person who makes consistent decisions; it’s an entire industry. There are some liberals on Wall Street, too. George Soros donated $6 million to a super PAC supporting Clinton, but even though he’s in the finance industry, that doesn’t mean “Wall Street” is supporting her over Republicans. But it’s also true that Wall Street doesn’t view Clinton as quite the enemy she suggests. From the point of view of investment banks like Goldman Sachs, it’s complicated. They dislike and will fight against some things she supports, and there’s no question they’d rather have a Republican in the White House. But they’d also probably be less terrified by the thought of her as president than Sanders, who is more likely to press for not just Wall Street reform but also actual upheaval ... Sanders isn't wrong when he says Clinton’s speeches are just one more example of an inherently corrupt system. Raising money from Wall Street and giving speeches to Wall Street, as many candidates (both Democratic and Republican) do, does create personal relationships that the industry can call on later. It doesn’t mean there’s a quid pro quo, but it does mean that at some later date, the politicians in question might be willing to hear the bankers out when they make their case. That’s true even though the real influence Wall Street exercises, as it is with most powerful industries, comes from things that are largely invisible to the public, like lobbying Congress on the arcane details of securities law ... So if you want to know how Clinton would deal with Wall Street, there are better questions to ask than who she gave speeches to, like precisely what reforms she’d like to see beyond Dodd-Frank and what kind of people she’d appoint to key oversight positions in agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Sanders could ask those questions, and he’d probably find plenty to take issue with.

    Trump Pulled the Strings of Political Puppets