WikiLeaks on Friday published hacked emails from John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, including excerpts from paid private speeches that the Democratic nominee delivered to major Wall Street banks. In the transcripts, which have not been verified, Clinton said that big banks are best positioned to reform the financial sector and spoke of her support for "open trade and open borders," contrasting with her anti-Wall Street rhetoric during the Democratic primary. Republican nominee Donald Trump attacked Clinton over the speeches during an acrimonious debate on Sunday night.
Bernie Sanders repeatedly called on Clinton to release the transcripts during the Democratic primary, though the former secretary of state never did. In one of the excerpts, delivered to Goldman Sachs and BlackRock in 2014, she admitted to being "kind of far removed" from the middle class following the financial crisis; in a 2013 speech to a Brazilian bank, she said: "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere."
2. ...I'm not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump.— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) October 7, 2016
In another 2013 speech, Clinton cited Abraham Lincoln in describing the need to have "both a public and a private position" in politics. That quote came up during Sunday night's debate, with Clinton saying that "it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want to do and you have to keep working at it," and accusing Russia of using WikiLeaks to influence the election. Trump countered that Clinton had been "caught in a total lie," and criticized her for "blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln."
Friday's publication was the first in what WikiLeaks has described as a series of releases to come over the next 10 weeks. Speaking at a 10th anniversary event last week, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the organization plans to release documents pertaining to the US electoral system, Google, and mass surveillance in the coming weeks. In July, WikiLeaks released more than 19,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee, which appeared to show the DNC favoring Clinton over Sanders, and led to the resignation of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. On Friday, the director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security officially blamed Russia for being behind the hack.
The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the thousands of emails released last week, but Podesta and Clinton's running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, have raised doubts of their veracity.
"I'm not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump," Podesta said in a series of tweets late Friday. "Don't have time to figure out which docs are real and which are faked."