Elsewhere online
July 09, 2015

George W. Bush Charged $100,000 to Address Veterans Charity

The former president received a $100,000 fee and private jet travel worth $20,000 to speak at a 2012 fundraiser for an organization serving U.S. veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, ABC News reports.

Helping a Hero, which provides specially adapted homes for military personnel severely injured in the conflicts, also paid $20,000 for a private jet to carry the Mr. Bush to Houston for the speech and paid former first lady Laura Bush $50,000 to speak at its 2011 gala.

The charity said the costs were justified because Mr. and Ms. Bush discounted their normal fees for the appearances and helped raise record amounts for the group . According to Helping a Hero tax filings, the group raised $2,450,000, after expenses, from the 2012 event at which Mr. Bush spoke, and about $1 million the following year.

A lawyer for the organization said the former president's payment was underwritten by a private donor. The featured speaker at last year's Helping a Hero gala, ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, did not charge a fee, and a spokesperson for former President Bill Clinton said he has "has never received" payment for addressing a veterans group.