Bill and I were flat broke after White House, says Hillary
Associated Press in Washington
The Clintons were "dead broke" and saddled with legal bills when Hillary and Bill left the White House, the former first lady has said.
Republicans immediately seized on the comment, saying it demonstrated that Clinton, the Democrats' strongest contender for its 2016 presidential nomination, was out of touch.
"We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt," Clinton told ABC News. "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."
Since leaving the White House, Bill Clinton has earned a fortune in speaking fees and Hillary represented New York in the Senate.
Hillary Clinton's Senate financial disclosure forms, filed for 2000, show assets between US$781,000 and US$1.8 million. The forms allow senators to report assets in broad ranges.
But the same form shows the Clintons owed between US$2.3 million and US$10.6 million in legal fees to four firms.
The Clintons paid off their legal bills by 2004, according to Senate disclosure forms. And by 2009, when Hillary was preparing to join President Barack Obama's administration as secretary of state, the Clintons' wealth was somewhere between US$10 million and US$50 million.
Republicans quickly pounced.
"How out of touch is Hillary Clinton when 'dead broke' [equals] mansions & massive speaking fees?" tweeted Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.