Real-estate magnate Donald Trump is apparently furious at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) eponymous media company for running an analysis valuing his net worth at just $US2.9 billion.
In an interview published Wednesday by The Daily Mail, the Republican presidential candidate lashed out at Bloomberg, a fellow New York billionaire, and said the media mogul is jealous of him.
“Now maybe Michael told them to do it,” Trump said of the report. “Maybe he did, because he always wanted to do what I’m doing.”
Trump also said he was “surprised at Michael.”
“They did it on purpose,” he said. “I think they’re a disgrace. And the next time I see Michael, I’m not going to be so nice.”
Trump, who owns a network of luxury properties and other businesses, frequently claims his net worth is greater than $US10 billion. However, other reports have put that number far lower. Forbes values Trump’s net worth at $US4 billion and values Bloomberg, who has his own media and financial empire, at $US36.7 billion.
In a story published Tuesday, Bloomberg reporters Caleb Melby and Richard Rubin, citing an analysis by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, assigned Trump an even lower number than Forbes: $US2.9 billion.
Business Insider reached out to Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg News about Trump’s claim that the report was bogus and possibly the product of the former mayor’s jealousy.
A spokesman for Bloomberg News replied: “We stand by our reporting.”
Trump, no stranger to bashing his media critics, spoke dismissively ofthe Bloomberg reportersto The Daily Mail.
“When this dopey kid came up from Bloomberg, he didn’t have a clue,” he said. “Caleb — a young kid. Wet behind the ears. … He doesn’t have any idea what I own.”
The developer said his golf courses in particular were worth far more than the Bloomberg report suggested.
“He valued the golf properties as golf properties!” Trump said of Melby. “Well, what about the value of the land?”
Trump singled out his Trump National Doral Miami property as an example of what he meant.
“What happens if I took Doral, hundreds of acres in the middle of the hottest city in the world, Miami,” he said. “And then I say, ‘No more golf! We’re going to make a housing development, 10,000 units.’ That’s worth billions by itself!”
He continued: “Now, I like golf and I want to keep doing golf. I have no intention of doing that because I don’t need money. But if I ever really wanted to do something, I could take that land and we could develop that land for the biggest projects literally in the world.”
According to The Daily Mail, Trump continued to single out Michael Bloomberg while discussing the report, “regarding him like a fly buzzing in his office that he can’t swat.”
“I don’t understand why Michael Bloomberg would — I did a lot of good things for him,” Trump said. “So many good things for the guy. I’m so surprised that he would allow this to happen.”
For their part, the Bloomberg reporters wrote in their story that their methodology was likely different from the Trump team’s analysis in calculating his wealth.
“The Bloomberg index values the real estate based on income it currently produces. Trump’s retail spaces could fetch higher rents if vacated and leased to new tenants at prevailing rates,” Melby and Rubin wrote. “It doesn’t value Trump’s brand beyond accounting for cash held in accounts for his licensing deals and business partnerships.”
They added: “Trump’s own estimations include much higher values for his brand.”
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