02/03/2016 06:00 pm ET Updated Jan 06, 2017

Why Barbara Boxer Isn't Bothered By Hillary Clinton's Wall Street Speaking Fees

"She didn't do anything that other presidents and other secretaries of state don't do."

In a Democratic primary increasingly focused on inequality among the country's richest and poorest, much has been made of Hillary Clinton's ties to Wall Street, including criticism from her opponent, Bernie Sanders. But Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) says she's confident Clinton is prepared to be tough on big banks.

In a conversation with HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski on Wednesday, Boxer said it's only natural for Clinton to have ties to enormous financial institutions within the state she once represented in the Senate. Boxer said:

You have to recognize, Hillary Clinton was the United States Senator for New York, just like I'm a United States Senator from California and San Francisco Bay Area, where I have Silicon Valley, and Hollywood, where I have the movie industry, and I fight for them. So you have to recognize that Wall Street was part of who Hillary represented. That's why I think it's fantastic that she's taken them on, as she has. I know that [a Sanders ad] basically implied that she had taken speaking fees. Speaking fees are one thing. Your policies are what's really important.

Those speaking fees have been substantial. According to a report by The Intercept, Clinton collected nearly $3 million delivering speeches to companies like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America between 2013 and 2015. 

Still, Boxer said she doesn't consider them a conflict of interest in Clinton's campaign.

"She didn't do anything that other presidents and other secretaries of state don't do," Boxer said. "The fact is, what's important is what are your policies and what do you believe in and what do you fight for. And I think that's where we measure people, not because somebody took a speaking fee."

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