A veteran and trusted Hillary Clinton adviser ripped the Democratic presidential nominee after seeing transcripts of post-State Department speeches Clinton gave discussing Wall Street, ObamaCare and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to emails released by WikiLeaks.
Mandy Grunwald, an adviser to Clinton’s current White House bid, offered a particularly frank assessment on Jan. 23 after seeing the text of three speeches given to Goldman Sachs in 2013.
“It’s pretty bad,” Grunwald wrote to a cadre of top Clinton aides. “She is critical to some extent of what led to the crash but the more memorable stuff is totally accomodationist.”
Grunwald cited Clinton saying the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory legislation was enacted because “people needed to do something for political reasons” and claiming “I’m not interested in pointing fingers.”
Grunwald has been in the Clinton orbit since 1992 when she was director of advertising for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. Grunwald remained a close adviser to Hillary after that election and later worked as head of campaign media relations on her failed 2008 presidential bid.
The email, uncovered in Monday’s WikiLeaks dump of emails hacked from Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta, came as Clinton was battling populist and uber-liberal challenger Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a fierce critic of Wall Street. Grunwald may have also been especially sensitive to the language Clinton used since Grunwald worked on Elizabeth Warren’s successful Senate campaign in Massachusetts. Warren and Sanders arguably are the most vocal Wall Street critics on Capitol Hill.
During the primary campaign, Sanders repeatedly called for Clinton to release her post-State Department speeches. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has echoed that demand, though Clinton repeatedly has refused to do so.
Portions of the speeches, however, eventually were disclosed in a lengthy document citing remarks that could prove harmful to Clinton’s campaign. That file was contained in WikiLeaks releases.
But Grunwald's criticisms stretched beyond Clinton’s financial sector comments.
“There are also some very tepid comments about Obamacare,” she wrote. “And a ton of foreign policy stuff, including some naïve sounding comments about Putin – that could cause a whole separate set of issues – but [aide] Jake [Sullivan] should review all that.”
Clinton has been particularly critical throughout the general election of Trump’s praise of Putin and views on Russia. But the Goldman Sachs speeches show that Clinton could also be cordial with the former KGB operative.
“I would love it if we could continue to build a more positive relationship with Russia,” Clinton said during a June 4, 2013 speech at Goldman Sachs’ IBD Ceo Annual Conference.
During the same speech she said: “We would very much like to have a positive relationship with Russia and we would like to see Putin be less defensive toward a relationship with the United States so that we could work together on some issues.”