Clin­ton cam­paign sought to can­cel Wall Street speech

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES - By Matthew Daily As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON>> Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign asked for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton to can­cel a planned speech to a Wall Street in­vest­ment firm last year be­cause of con­cerns that the Clin­tons might ap­pear to be too cozy with Wall Street just as the for­mer sec­re­tary of state was about to an­nounce her White House bid, newly re­leased emails show.

Clin­ton aides say in hacked emails re­leased Fri­day by the anti-se­crecy group Wik­iLeaks that Hil­lary Clin­ton did not want her hus­band to can­cel the speech, but was even­tu­ally con­vinced that can­cel­ing was the right step.

Cam­paign man­ager Robby Mook said he real­ized can­cel­ing the speech would dis­ap­point both Clin­tons, but said, “it’s a very con­se­quen­tial un­forced er­ror and could plague us in sto­ries for months.”

Clin­tons’ paid speeches have been an is­sue through­out the cam­paign, par­tic­u­larly Hil­lary Clin­ton’s pri­vate speeches to Wall Street firms.

The cam­paign has never re­leased tran­scripts of those speeches, but the hacked emails did re­veal ex­cerpts flagged by her ad­vis­ers as po­ten­tially con­cern­ing.

In the ex­cerpts, Clin­ton talked about dream­ing of “open trade and open bor­ders” in the Western Hemi­sphere. She also says politi­cians some­times need to have “both a pub­lic and a pri­vate po­si­tion” on is­sues.

Bill Clin­ton was sched­uled to speak to Mor­gan Stan­ley ex­ec­u­tives in April 2015, a few days af­ter his wife was set to launch her bid for pres­i­dent.

“That’s beg­ging for a bad roll­out,” Mook wrote in a March 11, 2015, email.

In a later email, Mook says he feels “very strongly that do­ing the speech is a mis­take” with se­ri­ous po­ten­tial con­se­quences for Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign. “Peo­ple would (right­fully) ask how we let it hap­pen.”

Hil­lary Clin­ton was sched­uled to cam­paign in Iowa, “where cau­cus go­ers have a sharply more neg­a­tive view of Wall Street than the rest of the elec­torate,” Mook wrote. “Wall Street ranks first for Iowans among a list of in­sti­tu­tions that ‘take ad­van­tage of ev­ery day Amer­i­cans,’ scor­ing twice as high as the gen­eral elec­tion elec­torate . ... This is a very big deal in my view.”

Clin­ton’s long­time aide, Huma Abe­din, as­sured Mook the next day that Clin­ton was fine with can­cel­ing the speech, es­pe­cially if her hus­band agreed.

The can­di­date “just needed a cool down pe­riod,” Abe­din wrote.

The emails were among thou­sands pub­lished this week by Wik­iLeaks, which has been re­leas­ing a se­ries of emails hacked from the ac­counts of Clin­ton cam­paign chair­man John Podesta.

U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials last week blamed the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment for a se­ries of breaches in­tended to in­flu­ence the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The Rus­sians deny in­volve­ment.

Podesta’s hacked mes­sages of­fer in­sight into the var­i­ous strate­gies and re­sponses con­sid­ered by those close to Clin­ton as they grap­pled with pit­falls in her bid for the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, in­clud­ing the 2009 de­ci­sion to use a pri­vate email server while serv­ing as sec­re­tary of state.

Emails re­leased Fri­day also show that Clin­ton’s daugh­ter, Chelsea, used a sec­ond alias to com­mu­ni­cate with her mother’s cam­paign: Anna James. Chelsea Clin­ton also used the alias Diane Reynolds, ac­cord­ing to emails pre­vi­ously made pub­lic.


Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton boards her cam­paign plane at Boe­ing Field Air­port in Seat­tle, Fri­day to travel to White Plains, N.Y.

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