It’s hard to believe a family worth anywhere between $100 and 200 million dollars could have been broke 13 years ago, but according to Hillary Clinton, the family were seriously struggling after they left the White House in 2001.
We know what you’re thinking. How broke is broke? Did they exchange limos for black sedans? Chanel purses for Coach bags?
Apparently it was a little bit worse than that, Hillary says.
In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Hillary revealed her family was “dead broke” when Bill’s presidency ended and they were struggling to piece together enough money for their mortgage and daughter Chelsea’s school fees.
“We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt,” Hillary said.
“We struggled… it was not easy.”
The Clinton’s debt came from millions owed in legal fees after the President’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. The fees were paid off by 2004 and the family was worth between $10 and $50 million by 2009.
Here is the full interview during which Hillary describes her family’s financial troubles and defends the $200,000 fee for speeches made by her or her husband.
If you can’t watch it right now, here’s a snapshot:
Diane Sawyer: It has been reported that you’ve made $5 million making speeches, the President’s made more than 100 million dollars.
Hillary Rodham Clinton: You have no reason to remember but we came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt. We had no money when we got there and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources to pay for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy. Bill has worked really hard and it’s been amazing to me. He’s worked very hard. First of all, we had to pay off all our debts, which was, you know, we had to make double the money because of, obviously, taxes, and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.
Diane Sawyer: Do you think American’s are going to understand five times the median income in this country for one speech?
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Well, let me put it this way: I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company, as so many people who leave public life do.
Given that the family purchased a $2.5 million home in Washington D.C and a $1.8 million mansion in upstate New York shortly after their time in the White House came to an end, we’d say their ‘financial struggles’ were probably not quite as bad as the average person.
Close, but not quite.