In private speeches she gave to banks, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton seems to have expressed a stance on trade that differs from what she’s said publicly during the campaign cycle.
Emails posted by WikiLeaks on Friday include partial transcripts from speeches that the Clinton campaign has previously refused to release.
In one speech she gave to a Brazilian bank in 2013, she advocated for “open trade and open borders.”
“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,” Clinton said.
In the same speech, she also said the US needs “a concerted plan to increase trade already under the current circumstances.”
The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the emails.
The speech excerpts were included in an email from Tony Carrk, research director for the Clinton campaign, that was sent to other campaign officials, including chairman John Podesta and communications director Jennifer Palmieri.
Clinton says on the campaign trail that she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade agreement championed by President Barack Obama that aims to slash tariffs and promote economic growth among 12 nations in the Pacific Rim.
Clinton has publicly opposed TPP since October 2015, when the text of the deal was finalised.
“I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as president,” she said at a campaign rally in Michigan in August.
But her opposition marked a departure from the praise she gave the deal during her tenure as secretary of state. She once said TPP “sets the gold standard of trade agreements.”
In another private speech mentioned in the Carrk email, Clinton said it’s important to have both a “public” and “private” position on certain issues.
“If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least,” she said. “So, you need both a public and a private position. “
She also appeared to express concern about how her positions appear politically.
“You just have to sort of figure out how to — getting back to that word, ‘balance’ — how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today,” she said.
Later in the same speech, she said: “Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavoury, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be.”
Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus said the disclosures showed who Clinton “really is.”
“The truth that has been exposed here is that the persona Hillary Clinton has adopted for her campaign is a complete and utter fraud,” Priebus said. “How can Bernie Sanders and many like-minded Democrats continue to support her candidacy in light of these revelations?”
The highly sought-after speeches given to investment banks like Goldman Sachs and other corporations became an issue for Clinton in the primaries when her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders accused her of taking large donations from Wall Street. When she was pressed about releasing them, the former secretary of state said she “would look into it.”
Between 2014 and 2015 Hillary and Bill Clinton earned more than $25 million from private speaking engagements, Reuters reported.
The release of the emails is the latest effort by WikiLeaks to reveal sensitive documents in the lead-up to the November 8 election. Earlier on Friday, the Obama administration publicly accused Russia of being behind hacks of Democratic political organisations in an attempt to influence the election.
Mark Abadi and Bryan Logan contributed to this report.
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