CHICAGO (CBS) — It might seem hard to swallow that Former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Clinton were “dead broke” at the end of his second term, given they both make millions now on speaking engagements. Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a close friend and ally, apparently doesn’t buy it.
Emanuel, questioning Hillary Clinton while she’s in Chicago for her book tour, ribbed the former Secretary of State for stating in an interview this week that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001.
“I’ve been reading a lot about the kickoff for the book tour. Hillary, dead broke? Really?” Emanuel asked with a wry grin and a chuckle.
Earlier this week, Clinton fanned a bit of controversy when she said she defended the millions she and her husband make in speaking fees, saying the two had huge debts to pay off from taxes, legal fees, and multiple mortgages.
“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” Clinton said in an interview with Diane Sawyer earlier this week. “We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”
On Wednesday, Clinton tried her best to laugh off the criticism she’s received for that statement.
“Well, that may have not been the most artful way of saying that Bill and I have gone through a lot of different phases in our lives. That was then, this is now and obviously we are very fortunate,” Clinton told Emanuel.
The mayor was interviewing Clinton as part of Chicago Ideas Week, while she’s in town on her national book tour.