Hillary Clinton has struggled to explain her close ties with Wall Street and justify the large sums of money she has taken from the industry in the form of speeches and campaign contributions.
In the Democratic Town Hall on February 3, Anderson Cooper asked the former Secretary of State if she regretted giving three speeches to Goldman Sachs for $675,000. Clinton claimed that she “wasn’t committed to running [for President].”
We found that this claim to be simply untrue.
Here’s the full exchange with Anderson Copper from CNN (emphasis mine):
COOPER: One of the things that Sen. 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, so…
You know every secretary of State that I know has done that.
COOPER: But (inaudible) for office they’re not running for an office…
CLINTON: Well, I didn’t know…
COOPER: … have known.
CLINTON: 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 several times I said you know I think I’m done. And you know, so many people came to me, started talking to me.
Hillary Clinton gave her last paid speech on March 19. However, evidence shows that she has already planned to run for President by that point, which conflicts with her statement. Clinton assembled her key team members no later than February 6. That’s more than a month prior to her last paid speech. The Washington Post reports:
At this point, without so much as an announcement, she has settled on — at the least — a campaign chairman, a campaign manager, a chief strategist and lead pollster, another pollster, a lead media adviser, a communication director, a deputy communications director, a focus group director and a communications strategist.
She is also closing in on a New York City campaign headquarters and a date to make all of this official.
Some senior staff are signing on without nailing down the usual conditions of a new job, such as a salary or starting date. Recruitment is being led by White House senior adviser John Podesta and manager-designate Robby Mook, with Clinton making many of the final decisions herself.
Based on the list of Clinton’s paid speeches compiled by Josh Gerstein from Politico, Hillary Clinton gave at least three speeches after she assembled her core team to run for President on February 6.
These findings conflict with Hillary Clinton’s claim that she gave paid speeches while not knowing if she was going to run for President.