Campaign & Presidency Bring Windfall To Trump Businesses
June 20, 2017
Trump’s latest personal financial disclosure shows he’s wasted no opportunity to use the presidency to get even richer.
Trump saw tens of millions in profit from clubs and resorts he’s touted, like Mar-a-Lago, where Trump frequently goes and the initiation fee has doubled.
The Atlantic: “President Trump says he’s received tens of millions of dollars in income from the golf courses and resorts whose profile he boosted during frequent visits since taking office, according to filings released Friday by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.”
USA Today: “Income at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort that Trump has dubbed the ‘Winter White House,’ has surged to $37.3 million, up from $29.8 million that the Republican reported in revenue before he assumed the presidency. Trump has hosted foreign leaders at the Palm Beach resort, which doubled its initiation fee to $200,000 after Trump's election.”
Trump’s private airline, which rents a plane from another Trump business, saw revenue shoot from $3.7 million to $7.7 million.
The Hill: “In 2015, Trump's Airline — Tag Air — which leases a 757 from one of his businesses, earned $3.7 million in revenue. the next year, it reported earning $7.7 million in revenue and travel reimbursements. Trump used Tag Air to travel during the campaign.”
Touting “The Art Of The Deal” on the campaign trail appeared to have paid off for Trump, with royalties increasing by at least $100,000.
Associated Press: “His book ‘The Art of the Deal’ is having a comeback of its own. Royalties from the 1987 autobiography ranged between $100,000 and $1 million, according to the new report. The 2016 report listed royalties as being between $50,000 and $100,000, and the 2015 report put them at $15,000 to $50,000.”
However, we still know little about Trump’s finances and business dealings without his tax returns, which he continues to hide.
Associated Press: “Trump's financial disclosures have added importance because he isn't following the long tradition of presidential candidates and office-holders making public their tax returns. Those returns provide more precise financial information than the disclosure forms that have broad ranges for income, assets and debts.”
CNN Money: “It is different from a Federal Tax Return, which Trump has refused to make public and which would reveal much more about his business and financial dealings, including foreign business ties, both direct and indirect.”
In the meantime, Trump received extensions on multiple Russian trademarks during the 2016 election and appeared to be making up foreign policy based on his business allegiances.
New York Times: “Last year, while hacking Democrats’ emails and working to undermine the American presidential election, the Russian government also granted extensions to six trademarks for Mr. Trump that had been set to expire. … Four of the approvals were officially registered on Nov. 8 — Election Day in the United States.”
New York Times: “President Trump has done business with royals from Saudi Arabia for at least 20 years, since he sold the Plaza Hotel to a partnership formed by a Saudi prince. Mr. Trump has earned millions of dollars from the United Arab Emirates for putting his name on a golf course, with a second soon to open. He has never entered the booming market in neighboring Qatar, however, despite years of trying.”
New York Times: “Mr. Trump has said he is backing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates because Qatar is ‘a funder of terror at a very high level.’ … The secretaries of defense and state have stayed neutral, urging unity against the common enemy of the Islamic State.”
Trump’s business involving foreign profits continued to be a problem, and Trump’s pledge to donate proceeds to the Treasury department had no oversight mechanism.
Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University Law Professor: “When I say Trump’s plan lacks oversight, that’s actually being too kind, because there simply is no oversight … It’s basically entirely up to the whims of the president.”