Bill Clinton On $500K Speeches: ‘I Gotta Pay Our Bills’

President Bill Clinton defended his $500,000 a pop speaking fees by claiming that “I gotta pay our bills.”

Clinton offered this explanation during an NBC interview about donations to the Clinton Foundation, the controversy which is an attempt to take down the charitable organization, he declared.

Bill added that he works a couple of hours each day on speech prep, one of which even netted him $750,000 for a November 2011 presentation in Hong Kong.

Critics have maintained that the ex-president’s speaking fees and huge donations that poured into the non-profit were allegedly an attempt by multinational corporations and foreign countries to buy favors from the U.S. government while 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State in the Obama administration.

Citing one such allegation contained in the new book Clinton Cash, which officially releases today, “Hillary Clinton changed her position on a 2008 nuclear agreement between the United States and India after Indian business and government interests flooded various Clinton enterprises with cash…” Politico reported.

The State Department declared yesterday, however, that there was no evidence that Hillary Clinton “took actions in office influenced by Clinton Foundation donations.”

Some Clinton foes have suggested that Hillary’s personal email account on a private email server that has supposedly been wiped clean may have contained evidence of what could amount to a quid pro quo scheme.

Although Hillary Clinton insisted during her book tour that the couple was dead broke after they walked out of the White House at the conclusion of her husband’s second term, they reportedly have a family fortune north of $100 million.

Another huge Clinton Foundation donation (from Russian sources) prompted Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, to claim that the arrangement appeared to be a form of bribery.

According to Forbes, only a small portion of the Clinton Foundation money apparently reaches global charitable endeavors. “It turns out that only approximately $9 million was paid out in direct aid. More than $130 million went to so-called ‘administrative and other expenses.’ Even if that is entirely on the up and up, it sure looks bad. If Clinton family members or friends end up with much of it, there could be a private inurement problem. Charities are supposed to benefit charitable goals, not line private pockets. Even thinking the best of all of this, the Clinton Foundation’s administrative costs seem awfully high.”

Charity Navigator does not evaluate the Clinton Foundation. “We have determined that this charity’s atypical business model cannot be accurately captured in our current rating methodology.” The Sunlight Foundation, another watchdog group, described the Clinton Foundtion a “slund fund for the Clintons.”

Separately, Hillary Clinton has agreed to testify before the House select committee investigating the terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy compound in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were murdered.

Media pundits across the ideological spectrum (see footage blow) seem unimpressed by Bill Clinton’s explanation about using his speaking fees to pay family bills.

[Photo by John Moore, Getty Images News]