Obama to get paid $1.2 million for Wall Street speeches

Obama spokesperson says former President gives money away to social programmes

Former US President Barack Obama will reportedly receive $1.2 million for a series of speeches he will make next week to large Wall Street firms. Mr. Obama had drawn harsh criticism from within his Democratic party when it became known that he agreed to deliver speeches at a conference in September organised by services company Cantor Fiztgerald. According to a piece by Bloomberg, it has now been revealed that the former President had been paid $800,000 for several speeches he had made to Wall Street companies, Northern Trust Corp, and an address last week to Carlyle Group. Bloomberg News said the former president will be speaking at a three-day event organised by Cantor Fitzgerald for current and prospect clients, where he will make remarks and take questions. Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for Mr Obama, told Bloomberg News that since leaving office, he had given speeches “true to his values.”
“His paid speeches in part have allowed President Obama to contribute $2m to Chicago programmes offering job training and employment opportunities to low-income youth,” Mr Lewis said.
Yet some have questioned Mr Obama’s actions. Earlier this year, when it emerged he would be appearing the Cantor Fitzgerald event, Mr Sanders, the Vermont senator, said it was “unfortunate” the former president had agreed to take part. “I think it just speaks to the power of Wall Street and the influence of big money in the political process,” he said.
Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was “troubled by” the speaking fee. “I was troubled by that,” she told a radio station.

source: Independent.co.uk