Reprinted from Truthdig
Since announcing his 2016 White House bid, Donald Trump has been the central focus of the campaign -- by one estimate, he has garnered almost 40 percent of all election coverage on the network newscasts. Clearly, The Donald's attempt to turn 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. into Trump White House has attracted so much attention because the candidate is seen as a Bulworthesque carnival barker who will say anything, no matter how hypocritical, factually unsubstantiated or absurd.
Yet for all the hype he's generated, Trump is not the only presidential hopeful willing to make utterly mind-boggling statements.
Take Hillary Clinton. Earlier this month, she said, "There can be no justification or tolerance for this kind of criminal behavior" that has been seen on Wall Street. She added that "while institutions have paid large fines and in some cases admitted guilt, too often it has seemed that the human beings responsible get off with limited consequences or none at all, even when they have already pocketed the gains." Her campaign echoed the message with an email to supporters lauding Clinton for saying that "when Wall Street executives commit criminal wrongdoing, they deserve to face criminal prosecution."
Clinton's outrage sounds convincing at first -- but then, audacity-wise, it starts to seem positively Trump-like when cross-referenced with campaign finance reports, foundation donations and speaking fees.
According to an Associated Press analysis, Clinton has already raked in more than $1.6 million worth of campaign contributions from donors in the same financial sector she is slamming on the campaign trail. Additionally, Clinton's foundation took $5 million worth of donations from at least nine financial institutions that secured special deals to avoid prosecution -- even as they admitted wrongdoing. The Clintons also accepted nearly $4 million in speaking fees from those firms since 2009.
Oh, and that anti-Wall Street email from Clinton's campaign? It was authored by Clinton aide Gary Gensler, a onetime Goldman Sachs executive who later became a government official.