Hillary Clinton told Deutsche Bank executives in 2014 that they needed to address the public's perception that financiers had "rigged" the economy, according to emails obtained by WikiLeaks.
Some of her campaign staffers wanted to leak the speech to the media to show she was tough on Wall Street, but at least one prominent member of her team feared it would create the opposite effect.
The exchange happened last November as the eventual Democratic nominee found herself locked in a bruising primary battle with Sen. Bernie Sanders, the populist democratic socialist from Vermont. One of Sanders' principal lines of attack was that Clinton was too cozy with Wall Street and therefore unable to relate to average Americans.
As part of a thread of emails between aides, Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon pointed out that The Associated Press was working on a story about the candidate's "image problem" relating to her closeness to Wall Street.
He suggested giving an unnamed media outlet an "exclusive" on the Deutsche Bank remarks, under the agreement that the reporter would say the transcript was "obtained by" that outlet "so it is not confirmed as us selectively providing one transcript while refusing to share others." Fallon's email came as Sanders was demanding that Clinton release transcripts of three 2013 speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs for which she reportedly received $675,000.
The WikiLeaks disclosures are part of a series of hacked emails of John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chair. They have not been verified, but the campaign has neither challenged nor confirmed their authenticity. However, campaign spokesman Glen Caplin told CNBC.com via email that WikiLeaks is doing the bidding or Republican nominee Donald Trump and Russia, which has been tied to the WikiLeaks email dumps.
"When will Donald Trump stop denying the reality given to him by U.S. intelligence and finally condemn Vladmir Putin's interference in our democratic process?" Caplin said.