Donald Trump (AP/Evan Vucci)

President Trump reports revenue of at least $434 million in 2018 in financial disclosure

The documents only provide a snapshot of the president's finances and do not reveal as much as a tax return does


Shira Tarlo
May 17, 2019 2:10PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump reported an income of at least $434 million in 2018, according to his annual financial disclosure released Thursday by the White House.

The 88-page document, published by the Office of Government Ethics, revealed mixed performances for some of the president's most visible properties and assets, and revealed that he received a 30-year mortgage loan of $5 million and $25 million in 2018 from Professional Bank for a south Florida property.

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Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., which he refers to as the "Winter White House," saw its revenue dip to $22.7 million, down roughly $3 million from 2017, the documents show.

Revenue from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, which he has called the "Summer White House," ticked only slightly to $15.73 million, an increase of a little more than $500,000 from the prior year.

Trump generated $40.8 million in income from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, roughly the same amount as a year earlier. The property is located just blocks from the White House and has emerged as a particular source of controversy, as it has become a magnet for lobbyists, foreign governments and organizations friendly to the president's agenda, who have given the appearance of gathering at the establishment in an attempt to gain favor with the administration.

The hotel has drawn lawsuits, including from Maryland and the District of Columbia, which claim Trump is in violation of a constitutional ban by accepting payments through the property.

The president reported taking in nearly $76 million at Trump National Doral in Miami, Fla., which is up slightly from 2017's reported income. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that business at the luxury resort has been in steep decline since he ran for office in 2016. Trump reported more than $130 million in income at the property in 2015.

Overall, Trump's income appears to have gone down from last year, when he reported revenues of at least $450 million.

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The report revealed Trump's debt increased over the past year to $315 million from $311 million. The disclosure forms allow fillers to value assets in ranges and does not show profits or losses. Five of Trump's loans are reported at "over $50 million," the report shows, making his total debt difficult to calculate.

The financial disclosure documents only provide a snapshot of the president's finances and do not reveal as much as a tax return, which would delve into the finer details of an individual's income, including taxes paid, sources of income and charitable givings.

Since taking office, Trump has maintained his interest in the Trump Organization, against the advice of government ethics experts. The company is being managed by his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.

"Our company had an exceptional 2018," Eric Trump said in a statement. "Our iconic hotels, golf courses, commercial buildings, residential projects and other assets are the best in the world and unrivaled by anyone."

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Trump is also the first president in decades not to release his personal tax returns, although he has submitted his required financial statements each year to the Office of Government Ethics.

Democrats have been on a quest to obtain Trump's tax returns after he bucked decades of tradition when he refused to release them during the 2016 election cycle. Although not required by law, every major party presidential nominee since the 1970s has chosen to publicly release his or her tax returns except for Gerald Ford, who only released a summary. Financial disclosures can help paint a fuller picture of a candidate's business positions and interests by providing information about financial dealings, such as investments, donations, business relationships, assets and possible conflicts of interests.

The fresh disclosures come as the Trump administration faces a Friday deadline to respond to a subpoena from House Democrats for six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns.

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated on Wednesday that the White House would likely ignore the deadline to provide copies of the president's tax records, telling lawmakers, "I think you can guess which way we're leaning on our subpoena."

Trump has made clear he does not want to turn over his tax returns, claiming he cannot disclose them as a result of being audited by the IRS. However, an audit does not prevent a taxpayer from releasing his or her own tax documents. The administration has indicated it plans to fight congressional requests for information about the president's finances.

Democrats requested Trump's returns as part of their wide-ranging investigations into potential conflicts of interests posed by his business dealings. Republicans, meanwhile, have criticized the request as merely a pretext for a political attack.

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Mnuchin, for his part, has fought to protect the president's financial information from public disclosure, arguing the request to turn over his returns creates a dangerous precedent. Democrats, meanwhile, have argued the power for lawmakers to seek the returns is written explicitly in a 1924 law. They have also argued they need to see the president's returns to in order to ensure the IRS conducts audits properly.

Trump ran for president as a self-made billionaire and real estate tycoon of unfathomable success, but he has faced almost constant questions about his actual net worth since announcing his bid for the White House almost four years ago. The New York Times reported earlier this month that Trump lost more than $1 billion between 1985 and 1994. The president claimed the report was a "highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!" based on "very old information."


Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

MORE FROM Shira TarloFOLLOW @shiratarlo

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All Salon Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Eric Trump Mar-a-lago News & Politics Office Of Government Ethics

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