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Fact check: Senator Mitchell McConnell’s net worth increase is due to family inheritance in 2007 

Social media users have been sharing posts online that question how Senator Mitchell McConnell’s net worth increased drastically between 2005 and 2015 if he was on a senator’s salary. This increase was due to a family inheritance received by his wife in 2007.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen  here  ,  here  and  here  . 

The posts read: “Sen. Mitch McConnell’s net worth: 2005: $2,962,015 2015: $26,927,535 Increase: $23,965,520 (+809.1%) How does a senator earning $193,400 a year increase their net worth by nearly $2.4 million in a year, every year for a decade?”

Former senate majority leader Mitchell McConnell would indeed have earned $193,400 per year, as explained on the Senate’s website  here  .  

McConnell’s wife, former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, received an inheritance after her mother’s death in 2007, as explained by Politico here and The Washington Post  here  . Both articles confirmed this with McConnell’s spokesperson. 

Forbes estimated the inherited amount to be around $9 million (here).  

The Washington Post article links to a financial disclosure report for McConnell for 2008  here  , which lists the amount between $5 million and $25 million as “a gift from filer’s relative” on page 4.  

When contacted, McConnell’s team directed Reuters to the Politico article featured above.

The Washington Post fact-checked these rumors around McConnell’s increased wealth in June 2020,  here  . 

VERDICT

Missing context. Senator Mitchell McConnell’s sudden increase in net worth was due to an inheritance received by his wife, former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, after the death of her mother in 2007.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .    

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