President Obama has come under criticism after reportedly accepting $400,000 to make a speech for Wall Street investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald.
The 44th president of the United States will speak at the company's health care conference in September.
In the past, Obama has called Wall Street personnel "fat cat bankers," and has rallied against them.
Critics have slammed the former president for taking on the event.
The Washington Post laid out “Four Reasons Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street Speech Is a Bad Idea.”
Others slammed it on social media:
It's so heartwarming that @barackobama is willing to speak to Wall Street for only a $400,000 hourly fee. A true man of the people.— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) April 26, 2017
Almost as though Obama explained himself why giving $$$ speeches to banksters is bad https://t.co/IT5RnyawaT— Jonathan Cohn (@JonathanCohn) April 26, 2017
Hey @BarackObama if you are unable to give your Wall Street speech, I am available to attend. I'm willing to give a 50% discount. DM details— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) April 26, 2017
The former president’s spokesperson, Eric Schultz, defended the speaking fee in a statement saying: “With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, 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.”
“While he'll continue to give speeches from time to time, he'll spend most of his time writing his book and, as he said in Chicago this week, focusing his post-presidency work on training and elevating a new generation of political leaders in America," Schultz added.
Cantor Fitzgerald has not commented on the matter.
During the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the firm last 658 people — about two thirds of their New York City workforce — after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into One World Trade Center, where the company had offices on floors 101 through 105.