The Wall Street CEOs who appeared before the House Financial Services Committee this week deserved the grilling they got from lawmakers, California gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman said this morning on NBC's "Today" show.

"I think they've broken trust with the American people, and I don't think the Americans trust them to do the right thing. The bonuses at the end of last year was egregious," Whitman told interviewer Matt Lauer when asked for her take, as a former CEO herself, on the hearing.

Top executives from eight leading American financial institutions appeared before the committee yesterday to answer questions about how they have used funds from the $700 billion rescue package passed by Congress in the fall.

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Whitman, who served as an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during the 2008 presidential campaign, also offered a critique of the new administration, saying President Obama has gotten off to a rocky start when it comes to addressing the economic crisis.

"Well I think it's they're off to a rough start," Whitman said when asked to grade the administration's efforts. "They came in with tremendous momentum, but I think the first three weeks has been pretty tough in terms of the way they managed this, the way they included the Republicans, and they haven't stuck to a real criteria, which is jobs, middle class, and what they call 'shovel ready' [infrastructure projects]."

See the video below:



cgood@thehill.com