After Trump Touts $557M in Income, the Clintons Reveal Book Royalties and Speaking Fees
It’s a financial disclosure showdown.
Hillary Clinton has filed financial documents showing that in 2015 she earned more than $5 million in royalties from her book “Hard Choices” and about $1.5 million in speaking fees before she launched her presidential campaign.
Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, continued his lucrative speaking tour through last November, reaping more than $5 million from banking, tech and other corporate interests.
Hillary Clinton released the candidate financial disclosure form she filed to the Federal Election Commission earlier this week. The 11-page document shows that most of her personal wealth is held in a Vanguard 500 Index Fund and a separate JP Morgan Custody Account, both valued at $5 million to $25 million.
Clinton’s campaign released her disclosure Tuesday night, hours after Republican Donald Trump put out a statement describing his personal wealth at $10 billion. Clinton used the release to sting Trump for refusing to release his tax returns, a theme she has repeated in recent days. Last year, Clinton released her own family tax returns covering 1977 to 2014.
“Despite Donald Trump’s boasting, submitting his personal financial disclosure form is no breakthrough for transparency,” Clinton campaign spokeswoman Christina Reynolds said. “The true test for Donald Trump is whether he will adhere to the precedent followed by every presidential candidate in the modern era and make his tax returns available, as Hillary Clinton has done.”
Earlier in the day, Trump announced he had submitted his candidate financial disclosure form to the FEC. He said it showed “a tremendous cash flow” and growing revenues from his businesses. The form—it will be publicly available after an initial review by the government—should offer updated information about the value of his assets and the revenues produced by his businesses. According to Trump, over the last 17 months his businesses’ revenues grew by $190 million, and he earned $557 million in income.
Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street interests between 2013 and 2015 spurred questions about her own lack of transparency, leading to repeated calls from her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, for transcripts of her talks to banks, investment houses and other financial interests.
The five speeches disclosed in Clinton’s latest documents include the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce paying her $150,000 for a talk in January 2015, following two other speeches in Canada that also were co-sponsored by the bank.
In all, Clinton made at least 94 appearances before corporate and other special interests between 2013 and 2015, earning more than $21.6 million for her services. A review of federal records, regulatory filings and correspondence by The Associated Press showed that almost all the 82 corporations, trade associations and other groups that paid for or sponsored Clinton’s speeches have actively sought to sway the government—lobbying, bidding for contracts, commenting on federal policy and in some cases contacting State Department officials or Clinton herself during her tenure as secretary of state.
Bill Clinton listed a February 2015 appearance in Nashville, Tennessee, for UBS Wealth Management Americas—a Swiss international bank that Hillary Clinton also spoke to in July 2013. Among his other speech clients in 2015 were Apollo Management Holdings, an investment firm that his wife also spoke to; the tech firm Oracle Corp.; and the National Association of Manufacturers, a trade and lobbying group.
Hillary Clinton’s disclosure also shows that her husband made an undisclosed amount of money last year in consulting roles for two international interests—the Dubai-based Varkey GEMS Foundation and Laureate Education Inc., a global for-profit education firm. Bill Clinton ended his relationship with Laureate last year after earning $16.5 million as the operation’s honorary chancellor, according to previously released Clinton tax records. Bill Clinton also has made more than $5.6 million in an honorary role for the GEMS foundation.
Bill Clinton used a limited liability company called WJC, LLC to handle his consulting fees, according to the disclosure filed by his wife. The disclosure does not detail the exact amount of consulting income Bill Clinton made because under federal reporting guidelines, any such spousal income over $1,000 is not required to be made public. Hillary Clinton also used a limited liability company, ZFS Holdings, LLC, to hold her speech and book earnings.
Hillary Clinton’s 2015 disclosure showed the couple’s total worth was estimated to be between about $11 million and $53 million, according to the broad ranges typically provided by the federal form. Her 2016 filing does not provide similar ranges, but the Clintons’ 2015 earnings appear to be in line with those earlier figures.
Photograph by EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ AFP/Getty Images