White House releases financial disclosures of top staff

The release of Cohn's financial information comes as the White House unveils as many as 180 financial disclosure reports of top ranking aides and employees.

The President's chief strategist held assets worth between US$11.8 million and US$53.8 million. But the report states that she has already earned some amount between $1 million and $5 million from the hotel business between the fiscal periods starting from January 2016 to March 2017.

Kushner's disclosure forms show that Trump maintains a stake in the Trump hotel in Washington D.C., which critics have said could be used by foreign officials to curry favor with the president.

Alongside Kushner and Cohn in the White House inner circle is Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist and the former head of right-wing website Breitbart News. The couple's combined business assets are valued at $741 million, according to Kushner's 54-page document filed on Friday.

President Donald Trump, a billionaire NY businessman, has hired some of the wealthiest people to ever serve in government. Her assets could top $9 million. If conflicts of interest are identified, the agency can require cabinet members to sign agreements to ensure that they will divest themselves of holdings, or resign from corporate positions of power. Her husband, senior aide Jared Kushner, who is also forgoing a salary, reported hundreds of real estate holdings and other assets totaling more than $700 million.

Trump, a real estate magnate and television celebrity with no political experience before he was elected president, has brought in some high-net-worth people to advise him. Since January of past year, that stake has earned her between $1 million and $5 million.

White House financial disclosure forms released on Saturday also show that former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who served three weeks in the role, failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities.

Ivanka Trump agreed this week to become a federal employee and will file her own financial disclosure at a later date.

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. The details of a staff person had to be specifically requested by news outlets and even then the documents did not give exact figures, only ranges that showed the staffers sources of income in the past year and investment, according to reports from Buzzfeed and Mother Jones.

Bannon earned more than $1 million previous year before entering the White House - including $125,000 from Cambridge Analytica, Robert Mercer's data analysis firm, and $191,000 from Breitbart News, where the Mercers are also co-owners.

In contrast, only a sliver of the staffers in former Democrat President Barack Obama's White House fell into the "extremely complex" category, according to pie charts released by the White House. The Trumps have a 60-year lease on the federally owned property, just a short walk from the White House.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the disclosures underscore Trump's ability to attract successful executives to his administration.

Donald Trump may be able to claim he is expempt from many conflict of interest rules as president.

  • Joanne Flowers