Fri Oct 28 23:38:22 CAT 2016

Clinton dithered over Reagan plug

AP | 18 October, 2016 08:33
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Hacked e-mails released at the weekend by WikiLeaks show that Hillary Clinton's campaign staff was worried how to respond to the gay community's objections to a comment by Clinton about former first lady Nancy Reagan and Aids.

Also among the documents are transcripts of Clinton speeches commissioned and hosted by Goldman Sachs in 2013, appearances for which she received hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The documents were among thousands of e-mails hacked from the accounts of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Clinton's aides fretted over how to respond to backlash from the LGBT community after Clinton lauded Reagan for starting a "national conversation" about Aids in the 1980s, e-mails show.

Activists blame former President Ronald Reagan for what they view as a devastatingly slow response to the Aids crisis in the US.

Clinton immediately tweeted an apology after her initial remarks in March. But her aides felt the LGBT community was not satisfied and agreed to release a more detailed response.

"I don't want this to fester," wrote Clinton's campaign LGBT outreach director, Dominic Lowell.

An initial draft of Clinton's statement began with: "I made a mistake." The line was changed to "I said something inaccurate" with the phrase "I made a mistake, plain and simple" added later.

During a series of speeches for which she received a fee from Goldman Sachs, Clinton generally avoided direct criticism of Wall Street as she examined the causes and responses to the global financial meltdown .

Three transcripts did not contain anything to suggest that she was unduly influenced by contributions from the banking industry, as her rival in the primaries, Bernie Sanders, alleged.

But her soft-spoken approach in the speeches was likely to act as a reminder to liberals in the party of their concerns that the Democratic presidential nominee is too close to Wall Street to be an effective check on its excesses if elected.

Clinton's campaign neither confirmed nor denied that the speech transcripts and leaked e-mails are authentic.


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