Clintons left White House 'in debt'

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is defending taking public speaking fees, saying that she and former President Bill Clinton left the White House “dead broke.” 

"We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt," Clinton told ABC News in an interview airing Monday. "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."

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Clinton’s individual speaking fees average $200,000 per appearance, ABC News notes. She pointed out she has also delivered a number of free speeches.

Her husband, she said, has also worked hard to pay off their debts.

“Bill has worked really hard — and it's been amazing to me — he's worked very hard. First of all, we had to pay off all our debts, which was, you know, he had to make double the money because of obviously taxes and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members."

Clinton said giving paid speeches allows her to not get attached to a particular group.

"I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do.”

ABC News will air the interview Monday in a one-hour special at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Clinton will sit down for a live interview on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday morning.

Clinton’s memoir Hard Choices is due out in bookstores Tuesday.

This story was updated at 5:00 p.m.