Fact Check: Mitt Romney's Investment Income Is NOT Proof He Is 'Corrupt,' Though It's Larger Than His Senate Salary

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Mitt Romney's Investment Income Is NOT Proof He Is 'Corrupt,' Though It's Larger Than His Senate Salary Legal Income

Does the fact that Mitt Romney's private investment income surpasses his U.S. Senate salary prove that he is "corrupt"? No, that's not true: The Utah senator, a Republican, discloses his legal sources of income via U.S. Senate financial disclosures and as a former venture capitalist, accumulated his vast wealth before he became a senator. The fact that his investments provide him with a source of income much greater than his Senate salary does not prove that he is "corrupt" as claimed without evidence by an investment-tips group as a promotional gimmick to gain customers.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on Instagram on February 1, 2024. It began:

This is exactly how I got Congressman Mitt Romney to work for me. Mitt pulls in an average of $4,000,000 monthly which is a lot more than his annual salary of $175,000 a year. This means that most of his money is coming from corrupt sources and we can take advantage of that.

Here is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-02-02 at 1.04.43 PM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Jan 19 18:47:46 2024 UTC)

The video gives no evidence for its claim that Romney's money comes from "corrupt" sources. He is misidentified in the video as a congressman, but Romney has been a U.S. senator since 2019 and releases details about his own income as well as his spouse Ann Romney's income each year in Senate financial disclosures. These public financial disclosures reveal the private investments that are the legal source of his income.

A graphic is shown during the video that claims Romney has an average monthly income of $4 million and an annual income of $48 million. There is no source cited for this information.

According to the U.S. Senate website (archived here), senators receive an annual salary of $174,000.

In Romney's latest Senate financial disclosures, filed on August 10, 2023, he reported income in 2022 from various Goldman Sachs investments funds as well as other companies' funds. (Romney's disclosure is accessible via a name search on the United States Senate Financial Disclosures site.) The disclosure forms represent ranges of income and not exact amounts.

A tally of the maximum amount of those ranges indicates that Romney's 2022 income from private assets could have been just over $12.1 million ($12,140,000) -- a total that does not support the video's claim of an average monthly income of $4 million.

Here is a screenshot from Romney's financial disclosures:

Screen Shot 2024-02-02 at 2.39.07 PM.png

(Source: United States Senate Financial Disclosures website screenshot taken on Fri Jan 19 19:54:22 2024 UTC)

According to Utah's Deseret News (archived here), while Romney was running for the Senate in 2018, he released three years of tax returns, which showed his gross income was:

$41.5 million in 2015
$20 million in 2016
$22.3 million in 2017

Though these private investments are significantly higher than his Senate salary, there is no evidence it is from "corrupt" sources.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to Mitt Romney can be found here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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