Bill and Hillary Clinton earned at least $30 million in income from speeches last year and in the first four months of 2015, the couple's financial disclosures filed Friday with the Federal Elections Commission show.
That's based on payments for about 100 speeches, according to the filing, which Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign provided to Bloomberg News late Friday.
The Clintons’ net worth, as indicated on the form, is between $11.3 million and $52.7 million – not including their multimillion dollar homes in Washington and New York, any federal government retirement accounts they may have, or personal items such as furniture, artwork and presidential memorabilia. Their net worth was between $5.2 million and $25.5 million on the final disclosure that Hillary Clinton filed just after stepping down as Secretary of State in early 2013.
The Clintons' assets put them well within the top 1 percent of Americans for wealth. Those with assets of at least about $7.2 million for 2013 fell into that category, according to New York University professor Edward Wolff.
The financial reports will allow Hillary Clinton's opponents from both parties to argue she's the wrong candidate to represent the interests of the middle class, and that she's beholden to special interests. Republicans immediately began the attack.
"The Clintons' claim that staggering amounts of income from paid speaking fees that raise ethical questions and potential conflicts of interest is simply to 'pay our bills' shows how out-of-touch they've truly become," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Friday.
The disclosure shows Hillary Clinton earned $5 million or more from her 2014 memoir, "Hard Choices." The Clintons also took in between $45,003 and $150,000 in royalties for three other books, including both of their post-White House memoirs.
The Clintons have not yet released their 2014 tax return but a campaign official said their effective tax rate for the year was over 30 percent. It was that high because most of their income came from the speeches and the book, which are treated by the IRS as ordinary income.
In recent months, the couple put between $5 million and $25 million in a Vanguard S&P index fund. Since their last filing in early 2013, both Clintons have taken out universal life insurance policies valued at between $500,000 and $1,000,000 each.
Hillary Clinton's fees ranged from $125,000 to $325,000 for the 51 paid speeches she delivered from January 2014 through March 2015. Bill Clinton’s rate was between $100,000 and $500,000 for the 53 speeches he delivered during that period. Honoraria for both were generally between $225,000 and $275,000 per speech.
The former secretary of state spoke in response to requests from groups and companies including eBay Inc., the California Medical Association, Deutsche Bank AG and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. Her husband delivered paid speeches that were funded by Jefferies Group LLC, UBS Group AG and Apollo Management Holdings, among others. He took in $275,000 from the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Toronto in May 2014.
The money the Clintons earned in speaking fees since the start of 2014 is in addition to the $104.9 million Bill Clinton made from speeches from January 2001 to January 2013. The Clintons have not disclosed their earnings from 2013, Hillary Clinton’s first year after leaving the State Department.
The disclosure from Hillary Clinton’s final year at the State Department listed a mortgage on a personal residence, but didn’t specify whether it was for the Clintons’ home in Washington or in Chappaqua, New York. The new disclosure doesn't include that mortgage. Presidential candidates, unlike cabinet secretaries and senators, aren't required to report mortgages.
The couple has at times sounded tone deaf when discussing their wealth.
Hillary Clinton said during her book tour last summer that she and her husband “dead broke” when leaving the White House. Weeks later, she apologized for using an “inartful” term that was nonetheless “accurate” in describing their financial standing in early 2001. “We are so successful and we're so blessed by the success we've had. And my husband has worked incredibly hard,” she said in a July interview with Fusion.
Just last week, Bill Clinton defended his work on the paid speech circuit and his fundraising for the Clinton Foundation, telling NBC News: “I gotta pay our bills.”