WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Hillary Clinton took nearly every precaution to ensure voters would never know what she told investment bankers, lobbyists and corporate executives in dozens of closed-door paid speeches before running for president.

Turns out, the Democratic presidential nominee had good reason to do so.

The private comments strike a tone starkly at odds with the fiery message she’s pushed throughout her campaign. Some of her remarks give fresh fuel to liberals’ worst fears about Clinton, namely that she is a political moderate, happy to cut backroom deals with corporate interests and curry favor with Wall Street for campaign dollars.

WikiLeaks on Friday posted what it said were thousands of emails obtained in a hack of the Clinton campaign chairman’s personal email. Among the documents posted online was an internal review of the speeches conducted by campaign aides to survey the political damage her remarks could cause if they ever became public.

In what aides calculated were the most damaging passages, she reflects on the necessity of “unsavory” political dealing, telling real estate investors that “you need both a public and private position.” To investment bankers, Clinton admits that she’s “kind of far removed” from the middle-class upbringing that she frequently touts on the campaign trail. She tells Xerox CEO Ursula Burns that both political parties should be “sensible, moderate, pragmatic.”

And in speeches to some of the country’s biggest banks, she highlighted her long ties to Wall Street, bantering with top executives and saying that she views the financial industry as a partner in government regulation.

“Part of the problem with the political situation, too, is that there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives,” she said, according to an excerpt from a 2013 discussion with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

In an effort to keep those speeches private, strongly worded contracts prohibited unauthorized recordings, reporters were banned and, in some cases, blog posts about her remarks pulled off websites.

The WikiLeaks disclosures should be the kind of “October surprise” that would thrill Clinton’s opponents. Yet Republicans have found consumed instead by a video showing Donald Trump admitting to making lewd advances on women.

But Clinton’s private comments, now public, aren’t going away. And a January 2016 email from the Clinton campaign’s research director to communications staffers includes excerpts from 15 of the more than 100 speeches she gave after leaving the State Department, appearances that netted her $21.7 million.


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