Obama makes $400K for speech at A&E event: report

Obama makes $400K for speech at A&E event: report
© Getty Images

Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump on his 'chosen one' remark: 'It was sarcasm' Kentucky basketball coach praises Obama after golf round: 'He is a really serious golfer' Biden evokes 1968, asks voters to imagine if Obama had been assassinated MORE reportedly made $400,000 for an appearance and interview last week at an A&E Networks advertising event.

The former president was interviewed at The Pierre Hotel in Midtown Manhattan by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, The New York Post reported. The “History Makers” event, which lasted 90 minutes, was conducted in front of the cable network's advertisers and hosted by A&E chief Nancy Dubac.

During the event, the former president was asked what he missed most about the White House and how he dealt with frustrating moments when he was president.


“For starters, by not having a Twitter account,” Obama reportedly quipped in response.

A source who attended told the Post that Obama said he missed sitting on the Truman Balcony of the White House in the summer and looking upon the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.

He also told the audience about his transition back into civilian life, saying he still hasn’t driven a car and is learning how to use the coffee machine in his new D.C. home.

Obama has faced criticism recently, after a report that he agreed to speak at a Wall Street firm's healthcare conference for $400,000.

He will appear at the Cantor Fitzgerald LP conference in September.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSteyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Gabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (D-Mass.) last week said she was "troubled" by the speaking fee the former president is reportedly receiving for that appearance. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHickenlooper day-old Senate bid faces pushback from progressives Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates Andrew Yang: News coverage of Trump a 'microcosm' of issues facing country MORE (I-Vt.) also expressed disappointment in the former president's decision.

"I think at a time when people are so frustrated with the power of Wall Street and the big-money interests, I think it is unfortunate that President Obama is doing this," Sanders said last week.

"Wall Street has incredible power, and I would have hoped that the president would not have given a speech like this," he added.

A spokesman for Obama rejected the idea that Wall Street would sway Obama, pointing to the financial reforms implemented during his time in office.

"With regard to this or any speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I'd just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history — and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since [former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt]," Eric Schultz said in a statement.