April 11, 2016

Secretary Clinton Defiantly Refuses To Release Transcripts To Philly Ed Board

Secretary Clinton phoned in for an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News editorial boards recently and was asked by the Inquirer’s Dan Biddle if she would set the example in this race and release transcripts of closed door paid speeches she gave in 2013 and 2014.

Clinton grew notably angry throughout the questioning and was defiant about releasing her transcripts. At one point Clinton claimed to be “bewildered” by the interest in these closed-door speeches, which the Inquirer pointed out earned Clinton more money than an average American earns in several years. “Everybody keeps asking me to do more and more and more …” Clinton said.

Finally when pressed, Clinton said she told various groups about “what they were interested in,” which she claimed was the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.  See below for a full transcript of the interaction:

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER’S DAN BIDDLE: “Secretary Clinton, Dan Biddle, Inquirer politics editor. It’s a thrill to be able to have a live Q&A with you, but I want to come back to those lunches, especially since you just used the words, ‘more public disclosure.’ As a citizen, I’m really unsatisfied with your saying you won’t disclose the transcripts of those lunch speeches for which you earned more money than most Americans make in several years because your rival candidates, whom you think are less qualified to be president than you won’t show us theirs. Especially in light of, you know many Americans have an issue, you know, in many a public opinion survey with your trustworthiness. I really want to know what was said at those lunches, and I would love you to either release those transcripts or convince me as a journalist in this trade for more than 30 years that when a major public official refuses to give full disclosure of a transcript like that, that official or that leader has something to hide.”

SECRETARY CLINTON: “Well, I can only say this: let’s make sure everybody is already as transparent as I. I’m sure you pressed Senator Sanders to release his tax returns because of course he hasn’t.”

BIDDLE: “Secretary, with all due respect, the question is will you disclose the transcripts –”

CLINTON: “No – no. I want to make a broader point because I’ve already told you what my answer is – when everyone meets the same standards, so will I. You know, I have to be very clear with you: I believe that the American people have more information about me than anybody who has ever run for president. I believe there has been a concerted effort to tear me down, to attack me, to criticize me, and there certainly has been a double standard between me and others who run. And at some point, I have to say, look, let’s meet the same standards. Let’s start with tax returns. That has been the standard.’ I have more than met that standard. People have been poring over my tax returns going back 30 years, and as I said, eight years are posted on my website. That is a very clear difference between me and Senator Sanders, between me and Donald Trump. And I, frankly, am always a little bit bewildered – everybody keeps asking me to do more and more and more, and I have said, let’s have the same standards, and I would be happy to do the same. But when you have transparency demands that only I meet and others running do not, you know, it kind of raises a question in my mind of people’s efforts to be held to the same standard that I’ve been held to. So I’ve been clear, I’ve been clear for months, when people release transcripts of speeches they gave, I will release mine. But in the meantime, I want to see their tax returns. That’s been the standard for decades, and they should meet that standard.”

BIDDLE: “So you won’t tell us what you said during those lunches?”

CLINTON: “You know, I talked about my experience as secretary of state, I talked about the world we lived in, I talked about global challenges. That’s what I talked about in all of the speeches that I gave. That’s why they asked me to come, as they asked Colin Powell, as they asked Condi Rice, as they asked Madaline Albright because when you come out of being secretary of state, all kinds of people from auto dealers to banks to health care professionals are interested in your views about the world. And I probably told the story about the bin Laden raid maybe 25 times because that’s what they were interested in.”