Fact Check website:
Hillary Clinton falsely claimed she is “the only candidate” in the presidential campaign “on either side” who has been attacked in advertising funded by “Wall Street financiers and hedge fund managers.” Actually, several candidates have been the target of ads funded in part by those in the financial industry.
In fact, by Clinton’s logic, real estate developer Donald Trump seems to be the favorite target of “Wall Street financiers and hedge fund managers” — not Clinton.
Clinton made her remarks on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on April 3. Host Chuck Todd showed a video clip of Bernie Sanders urging Clinton to release the transcripts of her paid speeches to business groups. Asked for her response, Clinton said Sanders was “misrepresenting my record when it comes to being tough on Wall Street,” adding that Wall Street financiers oppose her candidacy.
Clinton, April 3: I’m the only candidate in the Democratic primary, or actually on either side, who Wall Street financiers and hedge fund managers are actually running ads against.
That’s not remotely true.
The Clinton campaign referred us to an Oct. 28, 2015, USA Today news article about Future45, a super PAC that has received funding from well-known Republican donors. In the story, which is headlined “New Republican super PAC takes aim at Hillary Clinton,” USA Today‘s Fredreka Schouten wrote: “The super PAC has received financial support from Ken Griffin and Paul Singer, the billionaire founders of hedge funds, along with some members of TD Ameritrade founder J. Joe Ricketts’ family.”
It’s true that Singer and Griffin have donated to Future45. It is also true that Future45 has spent about $500,000 on ads attacking Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ opensecrets.org.
But Singer and Griffin also gave to other outside groups that have spent millions on TV ads attacking Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
Singer, who gave $250,000 to Future45, donated $1 million to Our Principles PAC, an anti-Trump super PAC, and $5 million to Conservative Solutions PAC, which supported Marco Rubio, according to opensecrets.org. Our Principles has spent $14.8 million attacking Trump, while Conservative Solutions has run $16.7 million in attack ads against Trump, Cruz, Christie, Bush and Kasich.
Likewise, Kenneth Griffin has given $250,000 to Future45, but he also has given $5.1 million to Conservative Solutions, according to opensecrets.org.
And, of course, Singer and Griffin aren’t the only ones in the financial industry who contributed to outside groups seeking to influence the presidential election.
For example, Keep the Promise I — a pro-Cruz super PAC — was formed with an $11 million donation from Robert Mercer, the co-chief executive officer of Renaissance Technologies, a $25 billion private hedge fund firm. Keep the Promise I has spent nearly $9.5 million on ads, including $2.2 million against Marco Rubio and about $900,000 against Trump. By contrast, the group spent just $80,000 against Clinton.
Who’s the top target of “Wall Street financiers and hedge fund managers”? It appears to be Trump, by a landslide.