Hillary: We Were 'Dead Broke' and in Debt

So they gave high-priced speaking engagements, she says
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2014 6:00 PM CDT
Updated Jun 9, 2014 7:00 PM CDT
In this April 8, 2014, file photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

(Newser) – Another tidbit from Hillary Clinton's interview with Diane Sawyer: She and Bill were "dead broke" and seriously in debt when his presidency ended, ABC News reports. The debt came from "hefty legal fees," she said (likely due to Bill's "sexual harassment saga," quips the Daily News). "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," she said. "You know, it was not easy." Despite their income of $416,039, they were $11 million in debt and took on high-paid speaking gigs—with Hillary averaging $200,000 per, reports the New York Times.

Conservatives are relishing the "not easy" part, considering the couple bought a $2.85 million residence in Washington and a $1.7 million house in New York state, and put Chelsea through top-notch universities (see a sample tweet here). But not all of their income came from speaking gigs, the Washington Post reports: Hillary's memoir Living History sold well, and Bill received almost $16 million in benefits and pensions from the federal government. Plus the gigs kept them from working as lobbyists, "as so many people who leave public life do," said Hillary. While she has given talks to high-flyers like Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley tech leaders, she waived all costs to address the United Methodist Women Conference in Kentucky. "I happen to have given lots of free speeches," she added. (Read more Hillary Clinton stories.)

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