As she prepared for her 2016 presidential run, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were “dead broke” when they left the White House in early 2001. The statement —apparently aimed at making the couple more relatable to average Americans —started a firestorm of criticism as critics pointed to the millions they had made after Bill Clinton left office.
They’re not poor now (and by average American standards, they weren't in 2000). Here’s how they made their fortune, which is estimated to be at about $110 million.
The Clintons have raked in $153 million in speaking fees since President Clinton left office, according to CNN. In all, the news organization reports, they gave a combined 729 speeches from February 2001 until mid-2015, “receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address.”
After leaving the State Department in 2013, Hillary Clinton made as much as $200,000 a pop on the speaking circuit. She spoke to organizations associated with trade groups, the financial services industry, the tech industry and the health care industry, among others. She made roughly $22 million from the fees.
An Associated Press investigation found that at least 60 firms and organizations that had sponsored Clinton speeches had lobbied the U.S. government at some point during the Obama administration. At least 30 of the groups profited from government contracts during that period. There were 22 groups that lobbied the State Department while Clinton was at the helm.
The former president, too, has hit the speaking circuit pretty hard. Before he had been out of the White House for a month, Clinton made $125,000 for a speech to Morgan Stanley executives. That address came after Clinton’s 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial banking from investment banking. Morgan Stanley was a beneficiary of the relaxed rules. By 2013, the former president had been paid $104.9 million for 542 speeches around the world — the most frequent audience being the financial industry — according to a review by the Washington Post. That includes $2.5 million from firms that paid Bill Clinton speaking fees while lobbying Hillary Clinton's State Department.
While neither Clinton takes a salary from the Clinton Foundation (the former secretary of state is not currently working there), the two have received a salary or pension from other sources since 2000. Hillary Clinton received a yearly salary while she was the senator from New York and then again while serving as secretary of state. Her final salary while serving in the Senate was $169,300 and her salary as secretary of state (which remained constant during her tenure) was $186,600.
The former president receives a pension from the government along with a slew of other benefits. Clinton’s annual pension comes out to around $200,000; he also receives funds to cover the costs of an office and staff. In 2014, Clinton received about $950,000 total from the federal government. (Former President George W. Bush was paid $1.3 million in pension and expenses in that same period).
As well-known and powerful people, the Clintons have been at the receiving end of some big paydays for their memoirs. The former secretary of state didn’t make a ton of cash from her books while serving at the State Department but began making millions as soon as she left. She brought home just over $3 million in book income in 2013 and then $5.6 million the next year. In 2015 she brought in just over $5 million from book royalties.
Bill Clinton received a record book deal at the time when he signed an agreement to produce a transcript. The book, released in 2004, received an advance of over $15 million.
According to an estimate by MoneyNation, the Clintons currently have a combined net worth of $111 million.