A meme circulating on Facebook claims, without evidence, that Hillary Clinton has won $ 95.5 million since running for president in 2016, and falsely implies that she and former President Barack Obama have enriched themselves by “stealing[ing] your money. “
AN meme The Facebook circulation compares what it claims to be the net worth of President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before and after the candidacy.
But he uses baseless figures for Trump and Obama, and deceives them for Clinton.
Here’s how the meme measures its wealth:
- Trump: $ 4.5 billion before running for president, $ 3 billion after.
- Obama: $ 3 million before running for president, $ 40 million later.
- Clinton: $ 480,000 before running for president, $ 100 million later.
He concludes, “But is Trump the guy who’s trying to steal your money?”
These claims have existed, in some version, since at least 2017.
The oldest version we found was published in November 2017 on a Facebook page called President Trump Fans. This post used almost the same numbers; the only difference is that he hit Trump at $ 3.5 billion after the election. It said that the numbers represented the fate of “Trumps”, “Obamas” and “Clintons”.
In October 2018, conservative activist Charlie Kirk tweeted the same numbers used in the current meme, attributing them to the “Trump family”, “Obama” and “Clinton”. He did not specify which Clinton he meant, Hillary or former President Bill Clinton. In June 2019, the Facebook page for TrendingPolitics.com – which describe as “pro-Trump” – shared the version of the claim that is currently circulating on Facebook. He paired the numbers with a photo of each politician and used a photo of Hillary Clinton.
The most recent version of the claim makes it look like Clinton has won more than $ 95.5 million since she was named Democrat for President in 2016. In fact, she and the former President had an adjusted gross revenue of $ 10.6 million in 2015, according to tax declaration that she made public during the campaign. The financial disclosure she presented – which requires government officials and presidential candidates to calculate the value of their assets over wide ranges – showed that the Clintons had between $ 10 million and $ 50 million in the bank or invested in an index fund in 2015.
The claim that it was worth $ 480,000 is probably a product of the confusion of the original claim, which may have been referring to Bill Clinton’s net worth before he ran for president in 1992. Reports at the time put the couple’s net worth below $ 1 million.
When he left office in 2001, Bill and Hillary Clinton were overwhelmed with legal debt accumulated during scandal investigations and impeachment processes. They your wealth grew, largely through profitable lectures and book deals over the past two decades.
It is difficult to say how much money they have now, since neither Clinton is in public office and they do not need to disclose their assets. But they are likely to have more than in 2016, given the release of Hillary Clinton’s 2017 book, “What Happened”, which broke sales records at the time.
This speaks of the greater implication of this meme. When asking, “But is Trump the guy who’s trying to steal your money?” the meme suggests that Obama and Clinton enriched themselves at the expense of taxpayers. But in both cases, most of the money came from working in the private sector.
For Barack and Michelle Obama, $ 15.6 million of the $ 20.5 million earned between 2005 and 2016 came from books written by the former president, according to a 2017 report Forbes Analysis. Two of the books, “The Audacity of Hope“AND”My father’s dreams,“They were published before he became president, and a third children’s book was published in 2010. Just over $ 3 million came from the presidential salary for eight years.
Since leaving the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama have signed high-level agreements, including a supposedly worth $ 60 million for a pair of memories. The first, written by Michelle Obama, was launched in November 2018 and became the bestselling book that year. The couple also signed a series and film production contract with Netflix, but the amount they will earn from it is unclear. An early report described it as a “high 8-digit agreement”.
Like the Clintons, the Obama net worth is difficult to calculate, as they are no longer needed to record financial disclosures.
As for Trump’s net worth, the meme is usually on target.
The president faced criticism, however, for breaking with the long tradition that presidential candidates release their tax returns. Trump refused do so during the 2016 elections and has continued to keep them private ever since. It files annually financial disclosure reports, as required by law. But the Responsive Policy Center reported that the president’s release “does not provide a complete picture of Trump’s revenue as it lists assets and debts – along with some revenue figures – in broad ranges.”
Overby, Peter. “The Clintons wrote the book on how politicians leave the middle class. ”NPR. August 17, 2016.
Alexander, Dan. “How Barack Obama has grossed $ 20 million since arriving in Washington. ”Forbes. January 20, 2017.
Evers-Hillstrom, Karl. “Trump has reported earning about $ 2.3 billion since the announcement of the presidential race.” OpenSecrets.org. May 16, 2019.
Forbes. “Donald Trump’s final net worth. ”Sep 2019.
Nasiripour, Shahien and Caleb Melby. “Trump’s net worth rises to $ 3 billion despite business setbacks. ”Bloomberg. 12 Jun 2019.
Robertson, Lori. “The president’s tax returns. ”FactCheck.org. November 9, 2018.