Hillary Clinton claimed she and former President Bill Clinton were dead broke after leaving the White House, even though they were making millions in book deals and speeches, according to a one-on-one interview with Diane Sawyer on Monday.
Not only was the first couple broke, but they were burdened by legal bills — related to the Whitewater investigation and Monica Lewinsky scandal — mortgages, and college tuition for their only daughter, Chelsea.
Even though legal disclosures reveal that the couple’s assets were in the six figures at the least and into the millions at the most, Clinton told Sawyer during the exclusive interview:
“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.”
The Clintons have been criticized for what some believe are exorbitant fees they charge for speaking engagements and the million dollar book deals they both secured to tell their stories.
The remarks made by Hillary Clinton were immediately seized by Republican officials, who say that the former First Lady and Secretary of State is an elitist, especially following the harsh criticism former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney suffered during the 2012 campaign, when he was constantly forced to defend attacks from Democrats who accused him of being out of touch with every day Americans because of his wealth.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, commented on Hillary Clinton’s estimated $200,000 speaking fees and millions in book advances:
“I think she’s been out of touch with average people for a long time. Whether she was flat broke or not is not the issue. It’s tone deaf to average people.”
When Sawyer asked about reports that she made $5 million and the former President made $100 million for personal appearances, Hillary Clinton said:
“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.”
Many view the release of Hillary Clinton’s new book, Hard Choices on Tuesday, as a preview of a possible Presidential run in 2016.
According to a report in AOL.com, Hillary Clinton’s Senate disclosure form, filed in 2000, indicates she had assets totalling between $781,000 and $1.8 million, however, the same report indicated then-Senator Clinton and her husband owed between $2.3 million and $10.6 million in legal bills.
But don’t feel too bad for the former first couple; in 2004 they paid off their debt, the Senate disclosure forms indicate. By the time Clinton was prepared to join the Obama administration as Secretary of State, the pair was making between $10 million and $50 million.
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