Tech giants have paid Hillary Clinton $3.2 million for speeches since 2014

Clinton family, Clinton FoundationREUTERS/Lucas JacksonChelsea Clinton (L), U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The Clintons’ ability to command large sums of money from individuals and groups interested in hearing them speak has been well-documented.

Of the $US25 million former President Bill and presidential hopeful Hillary have earned for paid speeches in the past year, the Washington Post reports Hillary pulled down $US11.7 million of that on her own — $US3.2 million of which was from the tech industry.

The Post’s Matea Gold suggests that could be troubling. She speaks of the “blurred line between personal and political” as it relates to where Hillary Clinton has earned money to speak. Matea says some of those companies “are led by executives who are now prominent backers of her presidential campaign.”

One event — an eBay summit — featured a 20-minute speech from Hillary, for which she earned $US315,000. Fewer than two months later, after she announced her presidential campaign, the Post reports an eBay executive hosted a fundraiser for Hillary at his home near San Francisco.

According to the Post’s analysis, nearly a third of the money Hillary Clinton earned from paid speeches since 2014 came from tech giants like Cisco and Qualcomm, plus some biotech trade groups.

Hillary ClintonREUTERS/Jim YoungU.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves as she leaves a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa, United States, May 18, 2015.

In some cases, both Bill and Hillary spoke to the same groups years apart, but Hillary’s lectures — which were given more recently — earned her nearly twice as much money, according to the Post, before she hit the campaign trail.

The Post suggests that by spending years making the rounds on the paid lecture circuit, Hillary Clinton has been able to test drive political themes key to her run for the White House, while also constructing a built-in network of financial backers.

The 2016 election is already shaping up to be one of the priciest political showdowns of our time. The Koch brothers have reportedly pledged nearly $US1 billion to support largely Conservative causes, and have declared their support for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

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