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McCain Says Clinton’s Speaking Fees Are a ‘Seminal’ Issue

The controversy over Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees could harm her presidential bid, Arizona Sen. John McCain suggested in an interview with The Hill.

The Republican lawmaker told the news site that the former secretary of state’s recent acknowledgment that Goldman Sachs paid her $650,000 for speeches was “one of the most seminal moments” ever in a presidential election.

CNN reported that corporations and organizations gave the candidate and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, more than $153 million in speaking fees from 2001 until last spring. Between them, the couple addressed 729 audiences for an average payment of $210,795, according to an analysis by the television network. The Clintons got $7.7 million for speaking at events hosted by 39 big banks, including Goldman Sachs.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the other Democratic White House hopeful, has seized on his opponent’s links to Wall Street to accuse her of being beholden to wealthy interests. “What being part of the establishment is, in the last quarter, having a super PAC that raised $15 million from Wall Street, that throughout one’s life raised a whole lot of money from the drug companies and other special interests,” he said during the most recent debate.

Hillary Clinton fired back: “Time and time again, by innuendo, by insinuation, there is this attack that he is putting forth which really comes down to, you know, anybody who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought. And I just absolutely reject that.”

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