2015 was a bad year for the Clintons: with only $10.6 million in taxable income, as Hillary revealed earlier today in order to shame Trump in revealing his tax returns, this was a 60% drop from the record $27.9 million they earned in 2014, it was the lowest income the power couple made since 2010, and was the third lowest income they generated in the past decade.
Of the $10.6 million, the dynastic presidential couple earned over 60%, or $6.7 million, from speaking fees: it was their top money-making activity by a wide margin. As reported earlier, the due also donated $1 million to “charity”, of which 96% went to the Clinton Foundation.
A breakdown of the Clinton’s income shows that they have earned nearly a quarter billion dollars, or $237 million to be precise, since leaving the White House in 2001. The full breakdown is shown in the chart below.
Hillary Clinton has famously described herself as “dead broke” when they left the White House, saying they were in debt. “We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education. It was not easy. Bill has worked really hard. And it’s been amazing to me. He’s worked very hard.”
According to tax filings, the Clintons went from making $357K in 2000 to nearly $16 million in 2001.
It is documented that speeches have been the primary source of income for the power couple. As CNN puts it, “The Clintons are millionaires, thanks to big businesses paying them sizable sums to speak at corporate events. It’s a great way to make money, but it also comes with questions about whether the Clintons are too tied to corporate cash.”
Hillary clearly dialed back her paid speaking activity last year. She earned only $1.5 million. That’s way down from the $10.5 million she garnered from speaking fees in 2014 and the $9.7 million she made in 2013.
Her typical speaking fee is $225,000, which means she probably gave six or seven speeches before announcing her intention to run for president in April 2015.
The 2015 tax documents don’t specify which businesses paid Bill and Hillary to speak. Hillary clearly dialed back her paid speaking activity last year. She earned only $1.5 million. That’s way down from the $10.5 million she garnered from speaking fees in 2014 and the $9.7 million she made in 2013. Her typical speaking fee is $225,000, which means she probably gave six or seven speeches before announcing her intention to run for president in April 2015. Bill also appeared less frequently on the speaking circuit last year. He earned $5.25 million in fees. That’s lower than the $9.7 million he earned from speeches in 2014 and the $13.2 million he received in 2013.
The Clintons have released many years worth of tax returns, but 2013 was the only year they provided a detailed list of where they gave paid speeches. Wall Street firms UBS and Goldman Sachs paid both Clintons to speak that year. No transcripts from the speeches have been released.
Bernie Sanders, her democratic rival for the presidential nomination, challenged her to release video or text of the speeches she gave to big business. She never did
“Nothing will change until we elect candidates who reject Wall Street money,” a Sanders ad said, directly hitting Clinton. Bernie, who recently bought a $600,000 lakefront home, has since endorsed her.
Donald Trump has also been trying to make Hillary’s speech conflict of interest into a campaign issue, picking up where Sanders left off, but the Clinton campaign is seeking to squash it. “That’s a non-issue,” political strategist Maria Cardona told CNN Friday. She said there’s nothing anyone can point to showing that these speeches influenced Clinton’s policy decisions and votes.
The latest leak of 296 pages of emails released Wednesday by Judicial Watch, revealed how Clinton Foundation officials sought access and “favors” from the State Department during Clinton’s tenure.
* * *