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Clintons Earned More Than $109 Million Since 2000

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And I'm Michele Norris.

Today, Senator Hillary Clinton released her tax returns. She was answering long-standing calls from critics and political rivals to make the returns public. They are the joint returns she and former President Bill Clinton filed for the years 2000 through 2006, plus a summary of their income from tax year 2007. Together, they made more than $109 million over that entire period.

NPR White House correspondent Don Gonyea is here to tell us more about those tax returns. Hi, Don.

DON GONYEA: Hi.

NORRIS: Now, these show that the former president and the first lady became very wealthy in the years since they left the White House. What do we make of it?

GONYEA: Well, it's not unlike other presidents who really cashed in after leaving the White House, but just so, look at these numbers. According to their adjusted growth income from 2000, Bill Clinton's last year as president, $357,026.

NORRIS: Okay.

GONYEA: 2006: $15,858…

NORRIS: Quite an increase there.

GONYEA: …422. And last year, we don't have the official returns from last year, but more than $20 million. So…

NORRIS: Now, there's some interesting breakdowns here also in where this income comes from.

GONYEA: Yes. And the bulk of it has come from Bill Clinton's, or the largest chunk of it anyway has come from Bill Clinton's speeches. He made some $50 million delivering speeches around the world. He's a big ticket on the speaker circuit foundations, corporate groups, motivational conventions, those sorts of things. But he has also made close to $30 million from the sale of two books he's written. And she had $10.5 million from the sale of her book, her - the biography that she worked on.

NORRIS: Actually, the his and hers autobiographies.

GONYEA: Exactly. Exactly.

NORRIS: Now, people have been calling for her to release these returns for sometime. Is there any indication that these returns show any embarrassing sources of income?

GONYEA: We're still really looking deep into these pages and pages and pages of documents. But the main news here is just the volume. And it's important to note, though, what is not in here. One of the questions that has come up over the course of this campaign is the amount of money, the millions and millions and millions of dollars that Bill Clinton has raised for his foundation, through his foundation, that a good chunk of it has been funneled to his presidential library.

NORRIS: The Clinton Global Initiative.

GONYEA: It's not itemized. Some lists have leaked out, but we don't know who is giving money, how much. And there can be questions of conflict of interest there, so none of that is in here.

NORRIS: All right. Thank you, Don.

GONYEA: A pleasure.

NORRIS: That's NPR's Don Gonyea. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.