Clinton laughed and turned away

Amy Goodman talks to investigative reporter Lee Fang about Hillary Clinton’s extremely lucrative career of giving talks at big banks.

The Intercept’s Lee Fang recently questioned Hillary Clinton about her speeches for Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, which paid her $675,000 for just three appearances. After a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire, Fang asked Clinton if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton laughed and turned away. Fang joins us to discuss Clinton’s Wall Street ties along with Ellen Chesler, a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and longtime Clinton supporter.

Hang on a second. She laughed. Why? What’s funny about it? Is that supposed to make us think it’s some kind of silly or random or trivial question? If so – what the hell is wrong with her? (Stupid question, if the obvious answer is just that she’s thoroughly corrupt and doesn’t even realize it – but that’s what I’m asking: how can she not realize it?) It’s not a bit silly or random or trivial. Is she more attentive to the needs of banks than she is to the needs of for instance working people? Is she easily corrupted? Is she an ally of the big banks? Does she have a view on the repeal of Glass-Steagall? Those aren’t trivial or random questions.

AMY GOODMAN: Lee Fang, last month you attempted to speak with Hillary Clinton after she addressed a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire. You asked her if she would release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. She laughed and turned away. I want to go to that clip.

LEE FANG: Hi, Secretary Clinton, will you release the transcripts of your paid speeches to Goldman Sachs?


LEE FANG: No? There’s a lot of controversy over the speeches. Secretary, is that a no? Secretary Clinton, will you release the transcripts of your Goldman Sachs speeches?

Not funny, Secretary Clinton. We’re not amused.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Lee Fang, explain what happened and why you’re raising this issue of what she was paid to make a speech or speeches at Goldman Sachs.

LEE FANG: Well, Amy, 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, you know, what these speeches actually entailed.

Bill was always like that. Always. It’s one of the things that soured my opinion of him quite soon after he took office.

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, because, again, this—

AMY GOODMAN: I want to get Ellen Chesler, a Hillary Clinton supporter, to respond.

ELLEN CHESLER: In all due respect, I mean, I actually was at one of those Goldman Sachs speeches, and it was about foreign policy, completely about foreign policy.

Chesler goes on to say that they give the money to their foundation, plus ex-presidents have to live, and Obama will face the same problem. She doesn’t explain why they can’t just get actual jobs, like lawyering or teaching or adminstrating. She seems to assume they have to be rich once they move out of the White House. There is no such necessity.

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