Left-wing Democratic firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on a radio show that she was "troubled" by reports that former President Obama was to speak at a Wall Street health conference, and accept $400,000 for the speech. She made the comments Thursday on SiriusXM's "Alter Family Politics."
"I was troubled by that," Warren admitted. "One of the things I talk about in the book ("This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class") is the influence of money. I describe it as a snake that slithers through Washington and that it shows up in so many different ways here in Washington."
Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) are considered the leaders of the far-left, progressive wing of the Democratic party, and are known for criticizing the more establishment wing for cozying up to Wall Street. Sanders often slammed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary for her own history of accepting large sums of money for giving speeches to Wall Street bankers and other executives.
Eric Schultz, a senior adviser to Obama, defended his actions in a statement to CNN.
"As we announced months ago, President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time," it read. "Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record."
"With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors," he added, "I'd just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history -- and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since FDR."
President Obama is also set to earn $60 million from a two-book deal with Penguin Random House.