WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Hillary Clinton defended the millions of dollars collected by her and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, citing the family’s need to pay off hefty taxes, legal fees and multiple mortgages since leaving the White House.
Speaking with ABC News ahead of Tuesday’s release of her new memoir, “Hard Choices,” the potential 2016 presidential candidate and former secretary of state says the Clinton family was more than “dead broke” after leaving the White House in 2000.
“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” Clinton said in an interview set to air Monday evening with Diane Sawyer. “We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”
She added, “Bill has worked really hard — and it’s been amazing to me — he’s worked very hard. First of all, we had to pay off all our debts, which was, you know, he had to make double the money because of obviously taxes and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.”
According to The New York Times, Hillary Clinton’s individual speaking fees average $200,000 per appearance. And according to a Mother Jones report, she earned at least $5 million in speaking fees since leaving her secretary of state position in 2013 – with some of that money being channeled in through Wall Street firms and trade associations.
In her final days as the first lady, Clinton landed an $8 million advance for her 2003 memoir, “Living History.”
And she is not the only member of her family raking in money by the minute: Bill Clinton earned a $500,000 speaking advance to deliver a 45-minute speech at the 90th birthday of Israeli President Shimon Peres on June 17 last year in Rehovot – placing his words’ worth at around $11,100 per minute.
The former president earned $17 million from speeches in 2012 alone, according to The Times.
However, the amount is reportedly directed straight to the William J. Clinton Foundation, and not the former president’s pocket.