Trump financial disclosures show Mar-a-Lago business boom

The disclosure, which reflects assets held as recently as April 15, 2017, lists holdings valued around $1.4 billion. Those include his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, which doubled its members' annual dues to $US200,000. The hotel has become the go-to venue for foreign diplomats and USA corporates looking to curry favour with the Trump administration. Mar-a-Lago, where Trump has spent weekends during his presidency, generated $37 million during the reporting period, an increase from $30 million during a similar period, as reported a year ago. This figure was Dollars 7.4 million higher than on his previous financial disclosure filing in May 2016.

His assets probably exceeded US$1.4 billion because the disclosure form provided ranges of values. He reported almost $11 million from the Miss Universe pageant and an $84,000 pension from the Screen Actors Guild.

Eisen is chairman of an organization involved in two lawsuits against Trump over foreign payments to his businesses, which the plaintiffs say violate a constitutional clause prohibiting the president from accepting foreign gifts, or emoluments.

The disclosure forms are not audited balance sheets like those reported quarterly by large publicly traded companies such as GE or Apple.

His earnings from television shows such as "The Apprentice" was down to $1.1 million, as compared to $6 million, the previous year.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns, which would give a much clearer indication of his wealth and business interests.

While the disclosures show an increase in funds from some of his properties, it also lists entities Trump owes money to.

Norman Eisen, a Brookings Institution visiting fellow and former ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama, said the document is missing a great deal of valuable information.

"It does nothing to clarify the critical conflicts questions, relating to domestic policy and national and worldwide security that are left open by his failure to issue his tax return", said Norman Eisen, a former White House ethics lawyer during the Obama administration, who is chairman of a nonprofit group that is a party in two of the emoluments lawsuits. His spokesmen have also noted the extensiveness of his financial disclosures.

Instead, on January 17, 2017, three days before his inauguration, Trump transferred his holdings to a revocable trust managed by his adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and Allen Weissberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization. The 98-page document was voluntarily released by Trump, Politico reported. In the filing, Trump mostly lists limited liability corporations and partnerships that he owns. In the days leading up to and following the election, Trump dissolved 28 of his business entities and transferred his stake in his remaining companies to his children and a revocable trust from which he continues to draw income.

  • Larry Hoffman