Barack Obama Paid $3.2 Million to Deliver Speech in Milan-Unproven! 

Summary of eRumor:

President Barack Obama was paid $3.2 million to deliver a speech at the Food & Chips Global Food Innovation Summit.

The Truth:

President Obama’s staff and organizers of the Global Food Innovation Summit have declined to comment on how much Obama was paid to deliver the event’s keynote address in Milan in May 2017.

Rumors that Obama was paid $3.2 million to deliver the speech in Milan started with a report appearing at the Express website under the headline, “Bit rich? Barack Obama ‘to pocket £2.5million for sold-out speech in Milan today.” The report begins:

BARACK Obama will reportedly pocket a staggering £2.5million (€3million) today for delivering a speech to a sold-out audience in Milan as part of his lucrative post-presidential speaking tour.

The former President, who has already earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for private speeches since leaving the White House, will make his highest-paying appearance yet at the Global Food Innovation Summit today.

However, the Express does not cite a source for the claim that President Obama pocketed $3.2 million to give the speech, so it’s impossible to independently verify the claim. And it’s odd that the Express didn’t provide any information whatsoever about the source, or explain why it couldn’t be identified, which is common journalistic practices when using unnamed sources.

Other publications reported that President Obama and Food & Chips representatives had both declined to comment on Obama’s speaking fee for the event. The New York Times summarized growing controversy over Obama’s speaking fees, noting that his fee for the Milan event had not been disclosed:

Since leaving office, Mr. Obama has kitesurfed with the billionaire Richard Branson, started writing his memoirs and begun earning speaking fees. Critics have accused Mr. Obama, who campaigned as a different kind of politician, of hypocrisy for accepting an offer of $400,000 to speak in September at a health care conference run by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

Organizers of the event in Milan — the Seeds & Chips conference on global food innovation — declined to say how much Mr. Obama was paid, and the Obama Foundation declined to comment. 

Given that this rumor is based on one unsourced report, we’re calling the claim “unproven” for the time being.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 05/11/2017
obama speeking fees
Rumors that President Obama was paid $3.2 million to deliver a speech in Milan fueled angry posts on social media.