Nikki Haley Raked In Millions From Speaking Fees

[Jianlee0316, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

It appears that Nikki Haley had the same retirement plan that Hillary Clinton did after leaving a presidential administration. Like the former Democratic Secretary of State, Haley, a former U.N. Ambassador and governor of South Carolina, racked up big stacks of cash delivering speeches to high rollers who would likely have business come in front of her administration if she wins the White House in 2024.

Oddly, Haley can’t seem to remember what she talked about. 

Nikki Haley doesn’t have transcripts, notes or recordings of the paid remarks she made to private audiences before she became a presidential candidate, her campaign told NBC News on Thursday.

Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, earned $100,000 to $1 million for each of a dozen speaking engagements in 2022 and 2023, according to a financial disclosure statement she filed in March. The form requires candidates to provide ranges of income only. CNBC, citing seven sources with knowledge of her arrangements, reported in 2019 that Haley charged $200,000 and the use of a private jet per U.S. speaking gig.

Haley’s speaking tour took her to Singapore, Australia and Canada, as well as cities across the U.S., where she met with bankers, firms that do business with China, and pro-Israel groups, among other entities with interests in the federal policy she hopes to oversee as president. Several of the companies promote “ESG” policies — considering environmental, social and governance factors in making business decisions — which have been the subject of derision from conservatives.

A onetime accountant, Haley kept track of the cash. But as for what she said, she doesn’t have the receipts, a spokesperson for her campaign said.

Getting political kickbacks on the speaking tour has long been a huge payday for high-ranking government officials. “After she resigned as secretary of state,” reported U.S. News in 2016, “Clinton joined the speaking circuit, raking in millions for paid speeches at about $200,000 a pop.

An investigation from the Associated Press ties those fees to government influence. Of the nearly $22 million Clinton made in fees, most was from groups that had recently lobbied the government.”

Financial disclosure statements showed that Haley wasn’t as much of an earner as Hillary was. Financial disclosures showed that she earned at least $1.2 million, and as much as $12 million, from making her rounds on the speaker circuit. 

The New York Times reported that “the filing shows how Ms. Haley parlayed her experience in the Trump administration and the governor’s office into lucrative opportunities in the private sector, and how those commitments have carried over into her presidential campaign.

Ms. Haley listed a dozen speaking engagements, for each of which she reported an honorarium between $100,001 and $1 million. They included events at the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Montreal, Barclays Services Corporation in New York, and Water Street Healthcare Partners in Chicago.

Ms. Haley also reported that she is a senior adviser at Prism Global Management, which is described on its LinkedIn page as a ‘US-based investment platform targeting growth-stage disruptive innovators in US and Asia.’

She reported between $100,000 and $1 million in consulting fees from Prism.

The filing shows that Ms. Haley also owns up to $250,000 in stock in Boeing, the aerospace giant on whose board she served for about a year after leaving the Trump administration.” 

Both Hillary and Haley pale in comparison to the big guy when it comes into raking in speaking fees, though. In July, CNN wrote that former President Donald Trump “was paid a total of $2 million for speaking at two Universal Peace Federation World Summits in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Palm Beach, Florida. The group was established by the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Korean evangelist and businessman who founded the Unification Church, and his wife, Hak Ja Han.

His most lucrative speaking engagement: $2.5 million in September 2021 from Triller Legends II LLC, a media company that has promoted professional fights.

Trump earned the seven-figure fee providing commentary for Triller Fight Club’s Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort boxing match in 2021, a lawyer for the company confirmed in an email to CNN.

Trump was also paid more than $2.3 million by American Freedom Tour for four speaking engagements in Florida, Texas and Mississippi. That firm has staged ticketed events that feature Trump and other prominent figures in ultra-conservative circles.” 

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