White House wealth: Trump employees disclose their finances

In a remarkable Friday night news dump, the Trump administration made dozens of White House staffers' financial disclosure forms available.

The newly released financial disclosure forms list the assets the Trump aides held when they walked in the doors of the White House in January - before administration counsel advised them to resign from various postings, divest certain holdings or recuse themselves from future decisions. But Kushner and his wife Ivanka were seen to be still holding on to assets and investments estimated to be worth up to $US741 million.

Ms. Trump, the elder daughter of the president who this week took a top role in the administration, also maintains partial ownership of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., which operates out of a historic post office owned by the US government.

Analysts believe the Trump International Hotel is of particular concern because large amounts of money and time that lobbyists or foreign countries could spend there as a way to curry favor with its owners in regards to government business. According to her husband's disclosure, the hotel stake is worth between US$5 million and US$25 million.

Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, disclosed assets between $13 million and $56 million, including his influential political consultancy, Bannon Strategic Advisors Inc., worth as much as $25 million. But the financial disclosure report shows that Kushner will remain a beneficiary of most of those same entities.

Gary Cohn is one of the wealthiest members of the Trump administration. Ivanka Trump, who just this week became a federal employee as an assistant to the president, has yet to file her own financial disclosure information.

Before taking office in January, Trump said he would formally hand "complete and total" control of his business empire to his adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, in a bid to avoid conflicts of interest - but that he would not divest from his holdings. Bannon earned almost $400,000 in consulting fees in 2016 from Breitbart news, Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm, and the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative research organization. Bannon earned just under US$200,000 a year ago as executive director of the Breitbart News Network before he quit to join Trump's election campaign last August. He has between a US$1 million and US$5 million stake in the data firm, but the disclosure said he has an agreement to sell his investment.

Press secretary Sean Spicer, a familiar figure around the world as the face of an administration at war with media, was worth between $2.9 million and $6.6 million, according to the filings about his assets. Public filers include White House employees earning $161,755 or more and those holding "commissions of appointment" from the president himself, according to federal ethics rules.

Conway earned, through her company, slightly more than $800,000 in business income for her work in 2016.

Kellyanne Conway was worth as much as US$40 million before being named counsellor to the president, derived mostly from investments and her salary at her consulting firm, the polling company/WomanTrend. She owned stock in drug giant Pfizer, food conglomerates Kraft Heinz and Mondelez, and tobacco companies Altria and Philip Morris, according to the financial documents.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus received more than $500,000 in salary and bonuses from the Republican National Committee, which he led through the long and divisive presidential primary.

  • Leroy Wright