President Donald Trump’s newly filed financial disclosure report, his first in 2017, was released by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) on Friday, offering insight into his financial empire that has been scrutinised by governmental ethics experts since the onset of his presidency.
The disclosure reportedly covers Trump’s finances from January 2016 until April 15, 2017.
One listing on the report, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf club estate in Palm Beach, Florida, stands out, due in part to its $US37.2 million in “resort-related revenue,” about $US7.5 million more than in 2016.
Trump has spent 25 days at Mar-a-Lago since he took office, prompting sharp criticism about the visits and questions about whether Trump was benefiting financially from them.
The estate made $US29.8 million in 2015, and $US15.6 million in 2014.
Trump has been accused of using Mar-a-Lago for official government business by hosting world leaders there. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed at the resort in February.
Shortly before Trump’s inauguration, Mar-a-Lago also doubled its annual membership fee to $US200,000.
In his five months as president, Trump was reported to have made seven weekend trips to Mar-a-Lago and to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey — a club that generated $US19.7 in revenue, according to the financial disclosure.
Trump has asserted that his trips to his official trips to own properties save the government money: “Rather than causing a big disruption in N.Y.C., I will be working out of my home in Bedminster, N.J. this weekend. Also saves country money!,” Trump tweeted in May.
In the past, presidents would normally travel to Camp David — the presidential resort located in Maryland — just 62 miles from Washington D.C.
Although the report may offer some insight into Trump’s assets, governmental ethics lawyers accusing Trump of violating the US Constitution’s emoluments clause as it pertains to payments from foreign governments, remain unimpressed with the substance of the disclosure.
“It does nothing to clarify the critical conflicts questions, relating to domestic policy and national and international security that are left open by his failure to issue his tax return,” former White House ethics lawyer Norman Eisen said in The New York Times.
You can read the OGE’s full report below:
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