Bill Clinton, former U.S. President and husband of 2016 Democrat Presidential hopeful Hillary, has had quite a successful number of years at the speaker’s podium, though the sources of his substantial income remain for the most part, hidden. Following his presidency from 1993 until 2001, Clinton embarked on a career of public speaking, which began at $150,000 per appearance, but since 2010, when the former first lady became secretary of state, have tripled and even in one case quintupled, as in the time he addressed a telecom conference in China. In fact, ABC News reported that, from records which were filed by his wife Hillary, during her tenure as U.S. Senator and as Secretary of State, these speaking fees provided an income for the former president of over $105 million over the past 14 years.
The drastic rise in former president Clinton’s speaking fees have led many in the White House and other government divisions to question its unusual spike. Former Chief Ethics Lawyer, Richard Painter, who served under former President George W. Bush stated that although there is no prohibition against raising fees, he remained suspicious about the fact that it coincided with Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.
As a result of the timing, this extraordinarily high income stream has come under much scrutiny. In fact Peter Schwizer, a conservative think tank author has published a book called Clinton Cash, which over the next few days, is slated for release. ABC News, in advance, has obtained a copy of book, which allegedly exposed records of sizable amount of money that was donated to the Clinton foundation by foreign and domestic companies with pending interests before the State Department. In some cases, a number of officials took part in the underwriting the former president’s speeches, however several errors were uncovered in the publication, including a time where some speaking appearances, both paid and unpaid were conflated, in which Schweizer said he would correct.
Though the records did support the State Department pending interests, no proof was offered whether the former former first lady was directly involved, however, when approached about the situation, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign declined to comment, and instead criticized the content of the book, accusing the author of “cherry-cherry picking,” and concocting a conspiracy theory. In an appearance in New Hampshire Monday, the former first lady, in fact, scoffed at the allegations brought up in Clinton Cash, about there being hidden financial sources and accepting foreign donations, claiming this was simply a ploy to distract voters from the real issues she has been trying to address in her campaign.
Although Clinton’s attorney did offer to have his client provide the sources of the speaking fees which were alleged to be hidden, Bill and Hillary’s lists proved to show a number of discrepancies and omissions. In one case Hilary disclosed inspirational coach and highly paid public speaker, Anthony Robbin’s as a financial source for his trademark event, Power Within, which totaled $955,000. However, it was revealed that the real sponsor was TD Bank, a prime investor of the Keystone Pipeline, which had to be approved by the State Department. In another case involving TD Bank, which sponsored $175,000 for a 2009 speech, Hillary stated that the Vancouver Board of Trade was the party sponsoring the event. In fact, the former first lady did disclose that TD Bank had sponsored $455,000 in 2009 and 2010, thus making the financial institution a sponsor of $1,585,000 in total.
In addition to her non-disclosure of all their funding involving TD Bank, also often left out was their acceptance of funds from countries like Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., in fact in the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), the Clintons failed to mention that $10 – 20 million was donated by the U.A.E. government to the Clinton Foundation. In Saudi Arabia as well, Hillary disclosed that the sponsor for a $300,000 speech was the Tanmiah group, but failed to mention that it had strong ties to the Saudi Arabian Monarchy itself, which has donated between $30-60 million to the Clinton foundation. In addition to this apparent discrepancy, all these instances leave one to question the former first lady’s commitment to human rights, as several of these financial sources, which seem to remain hidden, are top human rights violators themselves. This leaves, most importantly, a question mark of whether the former first lady can be trusted to be the next leader of this country.
By Bill Ades