Trump retains assets worth at least $1.4 billion, new disclosure shows

Trump retains assets worth at least $1.4 billion, new disclosure shows


President Trump disembarks Marine One on Friday at the South Lawn of the White House. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

 June 16 at 8:49 PM

President Trump reported on a new financial disclosure that his far-flung real estate and hotel assets are worth at least $1.4 billion, a stark illustration of the complex financial interests he has maintained in the White House.

The report, which the president voluntarily filed with the Office of Government Ethics, shows that he collected an influx of new revenue from recent foreign deals and a surge of business at his signature Mar-a-Lago property in Florida.

Trump has made his wealth a key element of his political brand, and his refusal to relinquish ownership of his company has spurred ethics complaints and legal challenges.

As a candidate, he claimed he was worth more than $10 billion, although his net worth is impossible to determine from his financial disclosures, and he has not provided independent evidence to back that up. The White House did not make any statements about his net worth when his filing was posted Friday by the ethics office.

The report does not require officials to report their exact income, tax rate or charitable giving — unlike a tax return, which the president has refused to release, breaking with past tradition.

Donald Trump has a lot of potential conflicts of interest as president – but there’s no law that specifically requires a commander in chief to remove themselves from all of their business interests. The Fix’s Peter W. Stevenson explains why presidents usually put their assets in a “blind trust” to avoid problems. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

Trump’s 98-page disclosure shows he held onto the vast majority of his assets since his last disclosure in May 2016, when he reported his holdings were worth at least $1.5 billion.

[Trump’s business booms as he runs for president, financial disclosures show]

The disclosure does not reveal when the investments were sold. However, a spokesman said in December that Trump had liquidated his entire stock portfolio in June 2016, around the time he began pouring millions into his presidential campaign.

Since January, all of Trump’s business assets have been in a trust managed and controlled by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as longtime Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg. Documents released in April showthat Trump is the beneficiary of the trust and is allowed to draw money from it at any time.

Because the new disclosure includes a four-and-a-half-month period covered by his last report, it is difficult to precisely gauge whether revenue at Trump’s businesses has gone up or down. But the new report shows that his holdings generated nearly $600 million in gross revenue between January 2016 and mid-April of this year, with substantial sums coming from properties outside the United States and hotels that he has spotlighted as president.

For the first time, Trump reported income from the Trump Tower in Kolkata, India, where he holds a licensing agreement with local developers. He said he received more than $100,001 from the deal.

Likewise, his new hotel-and-condominium tower in Vancouver, British Columbia, which opened in February, was a new source of cash: Trump reported that he earned more than $5 million from the project, which was developed by the son of one of Malaysia’s richest men.

Trump’s luxury hotel near the White House, which held its grand opening in October, reported $19.6 million in hotel-related income.

And revenue at Trump’s Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, climbed to $37.2 million during the 15½ month period covered by the report. In July 2015, he reported earning $15.6 million from the property in the previous 18½ months.

The president was not required to file a new financial disclosure with the Office of Government Ethics until next spring, but Trump decided to voluntarily submit an updated report in his first year in office, following the tradition of past presidents including Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

The new filing shows that Trump had at least $310 million in liabilities spread across 16 loans as of May 31, most of them mortgages, an amount similar to what he reported in his prior financial disclosure.
The liabilities probably are much larger because five of the debts were worth more than $50 million. Documents for those individual loans suggest Trump actually has a minimum of $500 million in debt.

Trump’s refusal to divest his holdings before taking office has triggered a cascade of complaints related to the use of government resources to promote properties such as Mar-a-Lago, allegations that he is violating the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause and questions about how he is being used to promote the Trump Organization’s projects abroad.

Earlier this week, the Democratic attorneys general in Maryland and the District as well as nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress filed separate lawsuits alleging that payments to Trump businesses violated the Constitution’s anti-corruption clauses.

Trump’s tax attorney, Sheri Dillon, told reporters in January that by setting up a trust he was taking “all steps realistically possible to make it clear that he is not exploiting the office of the presidency for his personal benefit.”

Trump’s disclosure reflected the apparent demise of the high-end skin-care line of his wife, Melania, which included anti-aging products made with caviar. The Melania Marks company is no longer listed as one of her assets.

The first lady drew wide criticism earlier this year when she claimed in a libel lawsuit that a defamatory story in the Daily Mail had derailed her “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to launch a broad commercial brand and bring in multimillion-dollar business opportunities.

Melania Trump previously reported between $15,001 and $50,000 in income from her accessories line. But during the past year, she listed no income from the brand.

Amy Brittain, Tom Hamburger, Michael Kranish, Steven Mufson and Steven Rich contributed to this report.

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