Hillary Clinton Challenged For Defending Wall Street Donors By Citing 9/11

"It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country."

When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took a swipe at Hillary Clinton for taking money from Wall Street donors who "expect to get something" in return, she parried with a mention of the 9/11 attacks.

"I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked," Clinton said. "Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan, where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country." 

That pivot drew some incredulity on Twitter, which moderator Nancy Cordes relayed back to Clinton: 

"Well, I'm sorry that whoever tweeted that had that impression because I worked closely with New Yorkers after 9/11 for my entire first term to rebuild," Clinton said. "So, yes, I did know people. I've had a lot of folks who give me donations from all kinds of backgrounds say, 'I don't agree with you on everything, but I like what you do. I like how you stand up. I'm going to support you,' and I think that is absolutely appropriate."

That answer didn't entirely satisfy Sanders, who lauded her efforts at rebuilding before circling back to his original point on breaking up big banks.

It also drew sharp criticism from Lis Smith, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's deputy campaign manager: 

RNC chairman Reince Priebus also took issue with the mention of 9/11.

 See the latest updates on the debate here.

See photos from the debate below:

Scenes From Democratic Debate No. 2
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