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Wikileaks releases Clinton's 'paid speeches' for Goldman Sachs

Clinton's campaign did not contest the authenticity of the remarks, which were part of documents hacked from emails of campaign chairman John Podesta. Photograph: (Getty)

Washington, DC, United States Oct 16, 2016, 03.10 AM (IST)

Controversial transparency group Wikileaks on Saturday released three of US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's  'paid speeches' to heavyweight Goldman Sachs. 


For more than a week, the transparency group has been publishing 'hacked emails' from the account of John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, Reuters reported. 


In its 'latest batch' of hacked emails, Wikileaks claims that the documents show  "question-and-answer sessions with Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and Tim O'Neill, the bank's head of investment management, at three separate events in 2013 in Arizona, New York and South Carolina", the international news agency highlighted in its report. 


In what appear to be the 'transcripts'  of the speeches that Clinton made to the financial giant between the time she left her position as secretary of state in 2013 and launched the presidential campaign in 2015, Clinton is shown offering her opinions on a range of issues.  She is talking about financial regulations, relations with Russia and negative effects of previous WikiLeaks releases on US foreign policy, AFP reported. 


"There was also a need to do something because for political reasons, 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," Clinton reportedly said as she talked about how something had to be done to "rein in Wall Street abuses". 


Clinton collected "at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks", CNN reports quoting the figures released by Clinton's campaign and tax documents she released earlier this year. 


Meanwhile, Clinton's campaign refused to comment over the leaks, however, the US government has repeatedly stressed that Wikileaks is working in collaboration with Russia. 


"There is no getting around it: Donald Trump is cheering on a Russian attempt to influence our election through a crime reminiscent of Watergate but on a more massive scale," Glen Caplin, a Clinton campaign spokesman was quoted as saying by CNN. 


"We're witnessing another effort to steal private campaign documents in order to influence an election."


According to Reuters, Clinton has previously come under fire for not releasing her speeches made to the big banks while opponents accused her of having a  "cozy relationship with the bankers and other firms". 


Earlier, Democratic primary rival Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had argued that she could not be relied upon to regulate firms by which she has been paid, AFP reported. 


Trump has also attacked the Democratic presidential nominee over the leaked emails while referring to the private speeches to major banks in 2013 and 2014 where she apparently expressed views in favour of free trade and Wall Street self-regulation that are at odds with her positions as a candidate. 


(WION with inputs from AFP, Reuters) 

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