Where Trump Gets and Keeps His Cash
A new 92-page financial disclosure makes at least one thing clear: The Donald has made money selling just about everything—but mostly himself.
Donald Trump’s 92-page financial disclosure does not tell us whether he’s worth TEN BILLION DOLLARS.
That said, we do find out quite a few things about his finances and lifestyle.
He is a member, president, or chairman of more than 500 boards and has made millions and millions from a vast number of golf courses, hotels, and other real estate holdings around the world.
He’s made money selling water ($280,185 from Trump Ice LLC), from pageants ($3.4 million from Miss Universe), and even from an ice skating rink ($8.6 million from Wollman Rink Operations, an operating agreement with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation). He has invested between $100,001 and $250,000 in gold—which may explain the gilded everything.
Of his 14 books, Time to Get Tough published around the time he was considering his presidential bid in 2001, made the most money. The royalties totaled between $50,001 and $100,000.
He also made $11,819 for his work at Trump University, a now defunct for-profit school that was successfully sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman late last year for breaking education licensing laws. Schneiderman sued on behalf of more than 5,000 former students who did not get the “Ivy League-quality” education in getting rich that the school promised.
“It is undisputed that Mr. Trump never complied with the licensing requirements,” Judge Cynthia Kern said in her ruling.
In 2010, the school changed its name to the Trump Entrepreneurship Initiative after New York’s Education Department ruled that it was not, in fact, a university. Students “were lured by free sessions, then offered packages ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 for sham courses that were supposed to teach them how to become successful real estate investors,” Schneiderman’s suit alleged, according to a New York Times Op-Ed critical of the institution.
“Some, hoping to get advice directly from the man himself, were sorely disappointed,” the Times wrote. “At one seminar, participants were told they would get to have their pictures taken with Mr. Trump; it ended up being with a cardboard cutout.”
According to Trump’s disclosure, the Trump Entrepreneurship Initiative’s value is “not readily ascertainable.”
Some of his speaking fees make those of Hillary Clinton look like pocket change. At ACN—a slightly sketchy multilevel marketing organization that has been sued unsuccessfully in multiple states for alleged illegal practices—Trump made $1,350,000 from three speeches, or $450,000 a speech.
Other groups paid him between $50,000 and $150,000 for speeches.
Based on the filings, The Wall Street Journal estimated Trump’s net worth to be at least $1.5 billion. His liabilities total at least $265 million.
Speculation over his wealth has followed a similar pattern over the years that goes something like this: Trump claims he’s worth an astronomical sum, someone famous makes fun of him and/or writes it isn’t true, and he sues.
Despite his wealth, Trump still draws a pension from the Screen Actors Guild totaling $110,228. (In addition to The Apprentice, IMDB lists 19 acting appearances for Trump, including the films Zoolander in 1999 and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in 1992, as well as several TV shows, including Sex and the City in 1999 and—wait for it—The Jeffersons in 1981.).
But the report is more than a vague picture of his net worth. Because he went through the trouble of making the disclosure, we also know that Trump is actually serious about running for president.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is priceless.
Will Rahn contributed to this report.