Clinton Defends Wall Street Donations By Citing Work After 9/11

AP

When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) suggested during Saturday’s Democratic debate that Hillary Clinton is indebted to Wall Street campaign donors, the former secretary of state responded by invoking her time as a senator helping Manhattan rebuild after 9/11.

When Clinton was asked how she will show that she will not cave to the demands of Wall street donors, she noted that she has proposed an “aggressive plan to reign in Wall Street.”

Sanders then said that Clinton’s answer was “not good enough.”

“I have never heard a candidate — never — who has received huge amounts of money from oil, from coal, from Wall Street, from military-industrial complex, not one candidate says, ‘Oh these campaign contributions will not influence me. I’m going to be independent,'” Sanders said. “Well, why do they make millions of dollars of campaign contributions? They expect to get something. Everybody knows that.”

Clinton jumped in to defend herself.

“He has basically used his answer to impugn my integrity, let’s be frank here,” she said of Sanders before citing her work in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

“I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtime Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild,” she said.

The CBS moderators later returned to Clinton’s answer, citing a tweet during the debate from a University of Iowa law professor that reads, “Have never seen a candidate invoke 9/11 to justify millions of Wall Street donations. Until now.” Clinton was asked how her work after 9/11 was related to campaign donations.

“I worked closely with New Yorkers after 9/11 for my entire term to rebuild. So, yes, I did know people,” Clinton responded. “I’ve had a lot of folks give me donations from all kinds of backgrounds say, ‘I don’t agree with you on everything, but I like what you do. I like how you stand up. I’m going to support you.’ And I think that is absolutely appropriate.”

Watch part of the exchange between Sanders and Clinton:

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