Former President George W. Bush was paid $100,000 to attend a veterans charity gala in Houston in 2012, NBC News has confirmed.
And the year before, former first lady Laura Bush received $50,000 for her remarks at a gala event for the same group, Helping a Hero. The nonprofit helps to outfit homes for veterans wounded during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Robert Clark, chairman of the Helping a Hero board, said in a statement that the former president's appearance actually helped to raise "significant funds" for the charity. The year that Bush spoke the charity netted almost $2.5 million; the next year was less than half that amount.
"His presence was appreciated by the veterans and supporters of the organization," Clark said.
A spokesman for the former president did not immediately return a phone call and email from NBC News.
The office of former President Bill Clinton said he has never received a speaking fee for addressing a veterans group. The office of former President Jimmy Carter said he has never taken money to speak to a veterans group.