Disclosure report shows government business is good business for Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump: disclosure statement reveals a mixed year for his personal fortune

RELATED AUDIO: FBI may be investigating Trump for obstruction as Sessions testifies, on Trump’s Beltway (June 16)

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A 98-page financial disclosure report released by the White House has provided the first glimpse at how Donald Trump's private financial empire — or at last parts of it — fared during his campaign and early months in office.

Selected highlights (read the full report here):

Winter Whitehouse
Revenues at Mr Trump's private club in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, dubbed the “Winter White House,” jumped from the prior year's $US29.8 million to $US37.3 million. After he was elected president, the annual membership fee for club was doubled to $US200,000. Critics say the president is effectively selling access — something of a sore point after he accused Hillary Clinton of doing the same, via outsize donations to the Clinton Foundation, during her time as Secretary of State.

Air Trump
Revenues for Mr Trump's private jet, aka TAG Air, more than doubled to $7.7 million. His campaign used the aircraft to move the presidential candidate around the country during the campaign, with the Secret Service paying $1.6 million to buy seats for its agents.

Trump International Hotel, Washington DC
Mr Trump opened the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC in September. Since launching, the property has generated $20 million in revenue, according to the disclosure. The hotel has become the go-to venue for foreign diplomats and US corporates looking to curry favour with the Trump administration.

Incomes from foreign interests static
While the president faces controversy over the broad pattern of his investments in the middle east (where he has done a lot of business with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and none with Qatar, whom he has sided against), revenue from his international operations — including residential buildings, golf courses and hotels in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East — did not change significantly in the last year.

Mixed fortunes overall
Although Trump properties occupied for government business, or those who do business with the government, did well, overall the president had a mixed year, at least in terms of financial results that have been made public.

The disclosure report shows Mr Trump and his related business entities reported revenue of at least $US597 million, down about 3% from the $US615 million in the period a year before.

Mr Trump reported assets valued at a minimum of $US1.4 billion, down slightly from $US1.5 billion in 2016 (the president has claimed a personal fortune of $US10 billion — a good chunk of it ascribed to the value placed on his personal brand; Forbes recently downgraded its estimate of his wealth to $US3.5 billion).

The president disclosed at least $US310 million in liabilities, about the same amount as last year. The disclosure statement only lists debt for companies over which Mr Trump or family members have majority control. Mr Trump owes money to high-profile Wall Street banks like Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch, and lesser-known outfits such as Amboy Bank in New Jersey.

Lawsuits
Unlike previous modern presidents, Mr Trump has not sold or placed his business interests in a blind trust. Instead, he turned over management to two of his sons, Eric and Donald Jr, who update him each quarter.

The disclosure form's Mar-A-Lago and Trump International Hotel segments will provide fuel for two states, Maryland and the District of Columbia, who have filed lawsuits claiming Mr Trump has violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which holds that a president should not receive compensation for services from a foreign actor, or foreign state.

Mr Trump initially pledged to give any profits from foreign business at the Trump International Hotel to charity, but the Trump Organization has since said it is proving difficult to identify which foreigners are conducting business at the hotel.

The success of the Maryland and DC lawsuits is far from certain.

But they seem guaranteed to further distract the president from his stalled agenda, which includes healthcare reform marooned in the Senate as some Republicans demand a re-write, tax reform that still only exists as a series of talking points, his first budget, the wall with Mexico, EPA budget cuts blocked by Congress and his travel ban for people from a series of Muslim-majority countries.

 


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Trumps financial benefits from his companies associated with the Presidency and holding office is as bad as it gets

But I suppose one thing is at least it's out in the open
How many former Presidents and Prime Ministers including in NZ have come out their leadership tenures and suddenly been multi millonaires - that applies to western world and also eastern world
Most communist and democratic countries are corrupt.

That is why there is such a global outcry now - mainly from our younger wiser and more inclusive citizens who are inheriting the mess left by years of greed. The internet has also helped people realise the true status of the global economy and democracy's - not the 'fake' news been spun for the past 50 to 100 years by our upstanding but bent leaders

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Great points. The irony being most Presidents, and NZ Prime Ministers, push us into a mutated form of communism. And, some even get rich through endorsing undemocratic corruption such as the emissions scam.

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The 1980s saw NZ converted from the Norway of the Southern Hemisphere to the Russia of the Southern Hemishere (don't take this to seriously).The NZ and Russia oligarchs all love to reside in London and talk about home.

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If he can release the financial disclosure report then why not his tax returns ?

That will be the one everyone is interested in and will show the ultimate transparency.
Why fight disclosure when you" have nothing to hide ?" !

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Good to see that US foreign policy is also determined by where Trump Inc invests ie: the feud between Saudi Arabia and Qatar !

Maybe Qatar needs to quickly encourage a Trump Golf Course.... since the USD 15 Billion defence contract aircraft order does not benefit Trump personally so carries no weight in his foreign policy decisions.

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All this is irrelevant to those in Ohio and Michigan whose preoccupation is around job opportunities, whilst the media is focusing on potential Russian influence in the election and the Paris Accord. Working middle class in the rust belt are worried about paying their bills. To this end, Trump's cutting of red tape and closing contacts is the only thing that matters to those who voted him into office.

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Too right, honesty, ethics, conflict of interest, abuse of power. They're all irrelevant and should be discarded in the face of empty promises of coal jobs that won't eventuate.

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when did these even matter?, maybe with Roosevelt at a stretch

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Well...true...maybe we should abandon truth, integrity, ethics, standards of conduct, democratic institutions, constitutions and courts etc. Perhaps it's time to return to just fighting for control using weapons?

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Congratulations to Mr Trump. Remember he is not a politician, nor a businessman. He is a entrepreneur, a leader. Totally different thinking,well in excess of us mortals.

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It is a brutal but inescapable truth that Trump demonstrates perfectly the tension and perpetual struggle between the two conflicting notions of America-the country, versus America-The Corporation??

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