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State Department Reportedly Spends $70,000 to Buy Copies of Obama's 1995 Memoir

 

President Obama just soared to the top of the U.S. embassy bestseller list.

The U.S. Department of State forked over $70,000 to buy Obama’s best-selling book “Dreams From My Father,” The Washington Times reported Tuesday, noting that if Obama earned 10 percent of the purchase, he pocketed several thousand dollars.

Although the 1995 book is a bestseller that sold briskly when Obama’s popularity grew during his run for president, the department’s decision to buy copies is catching the eye of government spending watchdogs.

“It’s inappropriate for U.S. taxpayer dollars to be spent on this,” Leslie Paige, the spokesman for Citizens Agaisnt Governtment Waste, told the paper. “This sounds like propaganda.”

The report points out that there’s no indication that the White House was alerted about the purchase, and a spokesman from the State Department said book purchases are common and often used “to engage key audiences in discussions of foreign policy.”

“We also provide key library collections with books about the United States,” Noel Clay, the spokesman, told The Times. (The newspaper said a White House spokesman didn't respond to its messages.)

Obama reported between $1 million to $5 million in royalties in 2010 for “Dreams from My Father,” and between $100,001 and $1 million for “The Audacity of Hope.”