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Obama making big-money speeches to Wall Street firms: report
Former President Barack Obama is reportedly giving speeches on Wall Street for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Obama made approximately $400,000 speaking to clients of Northern Trust Corp. last month, Bloomberg reported Monday. He also spoke with Carlyle Group LP last week and is slated to be a keynote speaker at Cantor Fitzgerald LP's conference on health care next week.
Obama received criticism earlier this year after it was reported that he would speak at Cantor Fitzgerald's health conference for a fee of $400,000.
Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for Obama, told the news outlet that the since the end of his White House tenure, the former president has given speeches "true to his values."
"His paid speeches in part have allowed President Obama to contribute $2 million to Chicago programs offering job training and employment opportunities to low-income youth," Lewis said.
Obama has not always had a cozy relationship with Wall Street. In 2009, the then-president slammed bankers for their role in the financial crisis. His administration issued a number of new rules and regulations to try and rein in the largest banks, but did not prosecute any CEOs and resisted calls from his party to break up the largest institutions.
Wall Street speeches were a thorn in the side for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during her party's 2016 primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) repeatedly criticized Clinton for her relationship with Wall Street firms and railed against speeches she gave after she departed from the Obama administration, where she was secretary of State.