Hillary Clinton, who received $675,000 for giving speeches to global investment bank giant Goldman Sachs, said at the CNN Town Hall event on Tuesday night that she will release her Wall Street transcripts when everyone does, meaning including the Republican presidential candidates.
That statement received little sympathy from a mostly liberal panel on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday.
Bloomberg View columnist Al Hunt said that anyone who makes $675,000 from Wall Street speeches ought to release them—even if it’s just one speech—and that Clinton didn’t need all that money.
Host Joe Scarborough was more sympathetic to Clinton’s position saying that she in essence is saying, “Why should I unilaterally disarm?” and “If I release my speech transcripts, then I want Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump. Kasich.”
National Journal columnist Ron Fournier disagreed, saying that Clinton told the American public that she took on Wall Street, telling them what they had to do. He said that if that’s true, she would have released them and her refusal to do so makes him think she isn’t being honest.
The problem with Clinton’s argument is that there aren’t going to be any paid speeches by Rubio or Cruz. The Senate prohibits U.S. senators from doing so, and if there is any record of Trump giving paid speeches to Wall Street, they haven’t surfaced yet.
Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele commented that Clinton seems to be “moving the goalpost” after first saying she would look into releasing the transcripts, but now she’ll only do so if everyone else does.
The bottom line is that she has no intention of releasing the transcripts, which would inevitably reveal that she hasn’t been truthful. Here is the relevant transcript from Morning Joe:
SCARBOROUGH: Okay, I can tell from the grumbling around the set that I’m going to be alone here. But, maybe it’s just the politician in me. I understand exactly what Hillary was saying in there. Why should I unilaterally disarm? When I don’t have, forget about Bernie Sanders, I’m just assuming I’m going to beat Bernie Sanders, but if I release all of my speech transcripts, then I want Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Kasich. And that’s why I said, that’s why I said,– everybody was grumbling going, it was like parliament making fun of labor’s leaders–
HUNT: Anybody who makes $675,000 from Wall Street speeches ought to release them. Anybody, okay? If you go and get one speech—I mean, she made a lot of money from those speeches. She didn’t need that money.
SCARBOROUGH: That’s fine.
HUNT: That’s fine. That’s absolutely fine. It’s the American way.
SCARBOROUGH: What’s wrong with saying ‘I’ll release them when the Republicans release them?’
FOURNIER: Here’s why, Joe. First of all, she told the American public that ‘when I gave those speeches I took on Wall Street. I told them what they got to do. They got to do it a better way.’ If that was true, she would have released them, okay? So, I suspect she’s not telling the truth. This is an era of transparency, the public has a right to know. Release it. The fact that when she says, you know, why should I do it, everybody else doesn’t? Because, you want to be president. Because supposedly you’re better than the Republican Party. Are you not better than the Republican Party? Is that the standard now? You’ll only be as good as the people you tell us are evil. No. You say you’re going to be better. So be better. Release the transcripts and let us make our own decision.
STEELE: And again, she moves the goalpost. Because if you go back to when it originally came up, she said, ‘I’ll be happy to release them.’ Now, it’s ‘I’ll be happy to release them if Republicans do.’
FOURNIER: Well first it was if Bernie Sanders does.
HUNT: That was a foolish promise.
STEELE: If Bernie does. You can see with each, with each step she moves the goalpost and makes it even more questionable. And so, why are you held to a different standard? Because you do things that hold you to a different standard.