US President Donald Trump’s latest financial disclosure showed that the general election campaign and early months of his presidency have been pretty good for his prominent businesses.
The disclosure, released Friday by the Office of Government Ethics, showed that many of Trump’s marquee properties, golf clubs, and resorts saw significant income growth from the disclosures he released in 2015, which came early in his presidential bid, and 2016, when he released an updated financial disclosure form as the primary campaign had come to a near conclusion.
For example, Trump reported more than $US37 million in income from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, the resort most visited by Trump on his weekends. That’s an increase of nearly $US8 million from the 2016 filing and roughly $US22 million from the 2015 edition. The club doubled its initiation fee after Trump’s electoral victory in November, increasing the cost to $US200,000.
Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey golf club — another Trump property where the president has spent a number of weekends as president — was listed as receiving roughly $US20 million in income in the latest filing, on par with its total from the 2016 report but up more than $US3.5 million from the 2015 filing, which was composed of figures from before Trump’s presidential bid.
Like Bedminster, many of Trump’s golf clubs showed modest growth during the time-span between his first and most recent filings.
For instance, his Jupiter, Florida golf club had an increase in revenue from $US12.4 million in 2015 to $US20.1 million in Trump’s most recent filing. His Doral, Florida golf club — arguably the most prominent of Trump’s golf holdings — saw its income increase from $US49.4 million in 2015 to $US115.8 million in the Friday filing, although that was actually a decrease of more than $US16 million from its income earnings in the previous filing.
The Trump Corporation, the president’s real-estate management company, nearly tripled its income from a year prior. The 2017 report showed that the management company earned more than $US18 million in income, compared to roughly $US6.5 million from one year ago. His new Washington, DC, hotel saw roughly $US20 million in income since opening last September.
Trump has also seen a massive increase in income from book royalties since he began campaigning in mid-2015. While his initial report showed royalties totaling, at a maximum, just more than $US165,000, that maximum total increased to more than $US6.16 million in last year’s filing and more than $US7.06 million in Friday’s edition.
“President Trump welcomed the opportunity to voluntarily file his personal financial disclosure form; while this filing is voluntary (as no report was due until May 2018), it has been certified by the Office of Government Ethics pursuant to its normal procedures,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a Friday statement.
The president has stepped back from the Trump Organisation, turning over control to his adult sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, in addition to a top Trump Organisation executive. However, the president did not place the assets into a blind trust or divest from his business interests, a move that many ethics experts had deemed necessary for the president to avoid conflicts of interests. As Politico noted, Trump has gone as far as having Donald Jr. and Eric give updates on the company’s finances.
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