Hillary Clinton Changes Position Again On Wall Street Transcripts
Another day, another position from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on why she will not release transcripts of speeches before Wall Street executives. Clinton has repeatedly changed the terms under which she would be willing to release transcripts, “evolving” as she has on gay rights, student debt, and the war in Iraq.
Hillary Clinton earned $2.9 million speaking before Wall Street executives in closed door speeches. What little is known about what she said behind those doors is not very encouraging for progressives, with Clinton reportedly telling Wall Street executives that she believed criticisms of Wall Street were “unproductive and foolish.”
Former Secretary Clinton’s initial response to questions about those transcripts—which she contractually required be created—was to say she would “look into it.” Then Clinton said she would release her speeches when her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, released transcripts of speeches, throwing out the double standard canard.
It soon became clear that, unlike her, Sanders had not given Wall Street speeches (let alone ones at $225,000 a shot). Clinton moved to a more vague call for “everyone” to release transcripts, which she left ambiguous.
Then, on February 23, during a town hall event with CNN, when Hillary Clinton was pressed by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo again on the issue, Clinton responded that now she would release transcripts of her closed-door speeches before Wall Street executives if Republicans did—a totally new and nonsensical standard, especially since the Republican Party generally celebrates its willingness to do the bidding of big business, including Wall Street.
Most of the Republican presidential candidates, as well as the majority of Republicans in Congress, openly support repealing Dodd-Frank and other regulations on Wall Street. Their actual position on policing (or not policing) the financial services industry is far from mysterious.
The point of releasing the Wall Street transcripts is for Democratic primary voters to know if Hillary Clinton’s views are in line with their views, and if she says the same things behind closed doors that she says in public. And, honestly, the fact that Clinton seems so opposed to releasing those transcripts almost answers that question, along with her incredibly dishonest claims on what she said to Wall Street in 2007 regarding mortgage securities and foreclosures.
With Clinton already facing questions in other areas on transparency, continuing to keep transcripts of her Wall Street speeches secret—while inventing new and increasingly tenuous reasons for doing so—is unlikely to improve her notorious problems with trustworthiness and honesty.