The New York Times is putting pressure on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to make public the transcripts of paid speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs.
"Voters have every right to know what Mrs. Clinton told these groups," said the Times in an editorial on Thursday.
"Public interest in these speeches is legitimate, and it is the public — not the candidate — who decides how much disclosure is enough," said the newspaper, which has already endorsed Clinton for her party's nomination. "By stonewalling on these transcripts Mrs. Clinton plays into the hands of those who say she's not trustworthy and makes her own rules. Most important, she is damaging her credibility among Democrats who are begging her to show them that she'd run an accountable and transparent White House."
Critics of Clinton, including her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, have accused the former secretary of state of being too close to big financial institutions, which paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars for private speeches. Many say she should release her comments so voters can see what promises she might have made to the big banks, or other comments that might influence their vote.
Media reports have cited sources who said they were present for the speeches and characterized them as congenial, even while many Democrats are critical of large financial institutions and their role in the 2008 economic crisis.
Clinton has resisted calls to release transcripts of the speeches, citing a "double standard."
"I'm being asking to do something, for which there's no basis, just the attempt to cast suspicion," she said in a recent interview on MSNBC. "So, I said I would look into it. We will look into it."
In its editorial, the Times said that Clinton's double-standard defense is illegitimate.
"Republicans make no bones about their commitment to Wall Street deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans," said the Times. "Mrs. Clinton is laboring to convince struggling Americans that she will rein in big banks, despite taking their money."