In an ABC News interview, anchor Diane Sawyer asked potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about the $100 million plus she and former President Bill Clinton have made over the years. The former-Secretary of State claimed that when she and the President left the White House in January of 2001 that they were “dead broke.”
“Dead broke,” according to Mrs. Clinton means that they were “not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there[.]”
According to reports on their tax returns, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton earned a combined income of $358,000 in 2000. That jumped to $16 million 2001, the year they left the White House. According to an official Congressional report, former President Clinton receives an annual pension of $201,000. According to news reports at the time, Clinton’s pension his first year out of office was $183,000.
Sawyer then asked if the American people will understand Mrs. Clinton making “five times the median income in this country for one speech.” Clinton responded by saying that making money for speeches was preferable to “getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do.”
Transcript courtesy of RCP:
DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: It has been reported you’ve made $5 million making speeches, the president’s made more than $100 million.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, if you — you have no reason to remember, but we came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. 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. 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, we had to make double the money because of obviously taxes, and pay you have at debts, and get us houses and take care of family members.
SAWYER: But do you think Americans will understand five times the median income in this country for one speech?
CLINTON: Well, let me put it this way, I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do.
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