"private" positions

Leaked Goldman Sachs transcripts show Clinton’s ambivalence on Wall Street reform

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Portions of leaked speeches Hillary Clinton gave to Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs after stepping down as Secretary of State show that, despite her “public position” that she would be even tougher on Wall Street than President Obama (a fairly low bar, to be honest), her “private position” is that the “jury is still out” on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law Obama championed and signed.

“There was a lot of complaining about Dodd-Frank, but there was also a need to do something because for political reasons,” she said during a speech to Goldman Sachs investment bankers. “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, but what you do is really important. And I think the jury is still out on that because it was very difficult to sort of sort through it all.”

This is at extreme odds with the views Clinton has espoused about the moderately successful reforms on the campaign trail. During the contentious Democratic primary with Sen. Bernie Sanders, she repeatedly said she would defend Dodd-Frank against Republicans who want to gut it, and promised to expand regulations for Wall Street and other financial institutions.

“As president, I would not only veto any legislation that would weaken financial reform, but I would also fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank,” Clinton wrote in a New York Times op-ed in December. A Boston Globe review of her record on Wall Street reform as a senator from New York found her to be “hands off” and “laissez-faire.”

During the primary campaign, Clinton repeatedly refused to release the transcripts from any of her paid speeches to investment banks and other special interest groups, which she reportedly earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for. The speech excerpts were released as part of a larger email dump from senior Clinton adviser John Podesta by WikiLeaks, which has been running a campaign to discredit Clinton. U.S. intelligence officials say they believe Russia is behind the hacks.