A new report by the Los Angeles Times details how “dead broke” Bill Clinton demanded, and spent, staggering amounts of money when he traveled to California for fundraisers after leaving the White House.
The former president demanded unheard-of speaking fees and stuck their hosts — including state universities and small community colleges — with hefty expenses, such as a $1400 phone bill and $700 dinner tab.
In addition, Bill Clinton demanded control of the questions asked at his events, and rarely spent time with his hosts — unless they happened to be big donors.
The Times‘ Evan Halper summarizes:
Clinton changed the rules of political speech-making for cash. He would push not just corporate hosts but also nonprofits and universities to pay fees well beyond what they were accustomed to. His aides would turn what had been a freewheeling format into tightly scripted events where every question from the audience was screened. He and Hillary Clinton would become so skilled at churning profits out of their lectures that they would net more than $150 million from speaking alone after he left the White House.
Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer has described, in detail, how much of that $150 million fortune in speaking fees was earned from foreign governments and companies, some of which had interests pending before the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.
As Schweizer noted in Clinton Cash, “While much of the media attention to Clinton’s speaking fees has focused on his fees from Wall Street and pharmaceutical companies, it has been the outsized payments from overseas that have really brought in the money … Bill Clinton’s best years — with much higher than average fees being consistently paid by foreign entities — occurred when his wife was at the pinnacle of her power as secretary of state.” Clinton’s clients included speeches paid for by foreign companies with contracts in Iran, and “speeches that were underwritten by the Chinese government and its supporters.”
Clinton honed his fundraising prowess, however, in California, Halper writes, demanding $100,000 per speech — as opposed to the $60,000 past presidents had usually been paid.
And Clinton didn’t just raise money — he also spent it. Harper notes: “Clinton would demand in his contract to be shuttled by private jet from San Francisco to UC Davis, where he spoke at the Mondavi Center. The center had to appeal to its network of donors to find someone able to fly him the 70 miles, something it had never done and hasn’t since.” And that was just the beginning of the long list of expenses.
Hillary Clinton famously complained that she and her husband were poor after 2001, thanks to their legal bills. If so, it was a situation she and her husband quickly rectified, at others’ expense — and possibly to the nation’s detriment.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.