It's been common knowledge that former President Bill Clinton was making a lot of money giving speeches because of his political connections, but it's "stunning" hearing through a WikiLeaks-released memo how high those numbers were, Sen. Jeff Sessions said Friday.
"People feel correctly that our leaders are spending too much time worrying about rich people and big fees and not enough time about their own interests and America's interests," the Alabama Republican, a surrogate and adviser for GOP nominee Donald Trump, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."
Earlier this week, WikiLeaks shared a memo showing Clinton's close confidante, Doug Band, talking about "Bill Clinton Inc.," as he dubbed the plan. The 12-page document was written in 2011, while Band's private consulting firm, Teneo, was raising millions of dollars for the Clinton Foundation while seeking out paid speech gigs for the former president.
According to The Washington Post, Band wrote Teneo had brought in more than $8 million for the foundation, but it also brought in another $3 million for Bill Clinton himself. Further, Band said he'd secure contracts that would pay Clinton $66 million over the next nine years, should the deals he made remain.
"Another number that, to me, knocks my socks off, is he and Hillary gained $153 million in speaking fees alone since he left the White House," said Sessions. "That is just unbelievable."
Trump has been making a call to "drain the swamp" in Washington, and stopping such money-making schemes, which have become common, are part of that effort, said Sessions.
"A lot of this money comes from foreign countries, which is doubly troubling," said Sessions. "Donald Trump's proposals ought to tighten up the ability of foreign companies and lobbyists to fund politics in the United States. It really needs to be tightened up."
Americans consider such money raising to be corrupting, said Sessions, and he believes too much money is raised while campaigning.
"A billion dollars or more Hillary Clinton has raised for this campaign," he continued. "Donald Trump has funded most of his own by his own money. I think that allows him to be more effective in fighting against this kind of thing."
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