After receiving $21.7 million in speaking fees from Wall Street firms, large corporations, and trade associations, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently agreed to release the undisclosed transcripts of her speeches “when everyone else does.” Due to the fact that Sen. Bernie Sanders is the only other Democratic presidential candidate running against Clinton, he decided to release the transcripts of his Wall Street speeches on Friday.
“Sen. Sanders accepts Clinton’s challenge. He will release all of the transcripts of all of his Wall Street speeches. That’s easy. The fact is, there weren’t any. Bernie gave no speeches to Wall Street firms. The money he made from two speeches he was paid to give he donated to a charity that serves low income families. He wasn’t paid anything while Secretary Clinton made millions, including $675,000 for three paid speeches to Goldman Sachs,” asserted Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs.
“So now we hope Secretary Clinton keeps her word and releases the transcripts of her speeches. We hope she agrees that the American people deserve to know what she told Wall Street behind closed doors,” Briggs added.
Sanders also released a YouTube video of one of his paid speeches on Twitter:
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 19, 2016
Between 2013 and April 2015, Clinton was paid $21.7 million in fees for 92 speeches that she delivered to various Wall Street firms, major corporations, and trade associations. During a Democratic presidential debate on February 4, Clinton was asked if she would release the transcripts of all her paid speeches. She furtively responded, “I will look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.”
During an MSNBC-Telemundo town hall in Las Vegas on Thursday, an audience member asked Clinton why she refuses to release her transcripts. He said, “Secretary Clinton, as a realtor here in Nevada I know personally how important the economy and the housing market is to the stability of our great nation. As the Democratic candidate who has delivered speeches to the largest U.S. financial institution in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees, why are you hesitant to release transcripts or audio/video recordings of those meetings in order to be transparent with the American people regarding the promises and assurances that you have made to the big banks?”
“Well, let me say this, I am happy to release anything I have when everybody else does the same because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups, including Senator Sanders,” Clinton responded.
As Clinton continued to deflect his question while displaying false bravado, the man finally pleaded to her, “Please just release those transcripts so that we know exactly where you stand.”
On Friday, Sanders’ campaign pointed out that Bernie is “everyone else” in the Democratic presidential field of candidates. And Wall Street does not have a habit of inviting him to give private speeches to their lawyers, brokers, hedge fund managers, or CEOs.