Skip to main content

Trump's money-making power as unprecedented as his words I The Harwood File I CNBC

cnbc.com

Trump's money-making power as unprecedented as his words

John Harwood


What comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth is, for a president of the United States, unprecedented.
So is what goes into his wallet.
In their recent financial disclosure forms, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner reported more than $500 million in income.
That income came from their hotels, golf courses, clubs and merchandise sales. It came from long-established businesses and newly formed ones.
No modern president has profited this way during his time in office.
Predecessors like Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush put their assets in blind trusts to avoid conflicts between their financial interests and the public interest. Trump did not.
He announced in January 2017 that he would step away from his businesses by putting his sons Donald Jr. and Eric in charge of them. But he stepped away only from their management, not their profits.
As president, Trump has promoted those businesses with his presence relentlessly. During his first 514 days in office, he visited Trump properties on 159 of them.
At least two American embassies abroad have promoted Mar-a-Lago, the president’s private club, on their websites. A national park in Virginia has offered Trump wine for sale.
Trump aide Kellyanne Conway publicly urged Americans to buy Ivanka Trump’s products in a television appearance on Fox News. Explaining the popularity of Trump’s Washington hotel, Conway told Politico that customers “look at it as a piece of the president.”
As demand rose, the Trump organization raised prices.
Mar-a-Lago, which Trump calls the “Winter White House,” doubled its membership fee to $200,000. Trump International Hotel, whose managers market it as a destination for diplomats, raised room rates almost 60 percent.

Many benefit from Trump's decisions

President Donald Trump walks along the West Wing colonnade with his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Getty Images
President Donald Trump walks along the West Wing colonnade with his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Many who could benefit from Trump’s decisions are happy to pay. That includes representatives of countries of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait and Georgia. It includes lobbyists and executives from industries such as oil, high-tech, real estate and mining.
In amounts large and small, Trump takes in money from political allies, and from the government he leads.
The Republican National Committee rents space in Trump Tower. So does the Pentagon. So does China’s largest bank.
The government of Qatar this spring paid $6.5 million for an apartment in Trump World Tower — joining the governments of Saudi Arabia, India and Afghanistan there.
Trump businesses overseas have gotten foreign government help, too.
China’s government is reportedly lending $500 million for a Trump-linked development project in Indonesia. China has also approved dozens of trademarks for Trump family businesses since he won the presidency.
The White House notes that Congress has exempted presidents from conflict-of-interest statutes. But his ability to profit is not unlimited.
In two “emoluments clauses,” the Constitution forbids the president from taking money from individual states or from foreign governments.
Responding to those restrictions, the Trump organization has pledged to donate profits derived from foreign entities to the U.S. Treasury. In 2017, that donation was $151,000 — less than one-half of 1 percent of the $40 million in hotel income the president reported.
A federal lawsuit filed by Democratic members of Congress and one filed by the governments of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia accuse the president of violating the emoluments clauses.
While those cases await trial, the power of the presidency remains a major financial asset for Trump.
“The stars have all aligned,” Eric Trump said last year. “I think our brand is hotter than it’s ever been.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: How the shutdown could make it harder for the government to retain cybersecurity talent

By Joseph Marks 13-17 minutes THE KEY President Trump delivers an address about border security amid a partial government shutdown on Jan. 8. (Carolyn Kaster/AP) The partial government shutdown that's now in its 18th day is putting key cyber policy priorities on hold and leaving vital operations to a bare bones staff. But the far greater long-term danger may be the blow to government cyber defenders' morale, former officials warn. With the prospect of better pay and greater job security in the private sector, more government cyber operators are likely to decamp to industry, those former officials tell me, and the smartest cybersecurity graduates will look to industry rather than government to hone their skills. That’s especially dangerous, they say, considering the government’s struggle to recruit and retain skilled workers amid a nationwide shortage of cybersecurity talent. About 20 percent of staffers are furloughed at the De

Democrats call for investigation into Trump’s iPhone use after a report that China is listening:Analysis | The Daily 202 I The Washington Post.

washingtonpost.com By James Hohmann _________________________________________________________________________________ President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last November. (Andrew Harnik/AP) With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve THE BIG IDEA: If Democrats win the House in two weeks, it’s a safe bet that one of the oversight hearings they schedule for early next year would focus on President Trump’s use of unsecured cellphones. The matter would not likely be pursued with anywhere near the gusto that congressional Republicans investigated Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. Leaders of the minority party have higher priorities . But Democratic lawmakers made clear Thursday morning that they will not ignore a New York Times report that Trump has refused to stop using iPhones in the White House, despite repeated warnings from U.S. intelligence offici

RTTNews: Morning Market Briefing.-Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Down To 444,000. May 13th 2010

Morning Market Briefing Thu May 13 09:01 2010   Commentary May 13, 2010 Stocks Poised For Lackluster Open Amid Mixed Market Sentiment - U.S. Commentary Stocks are on pace for a mixed start to Thursday's session, as a mostly upbeat jobs report continued to relieve the markets while some consternation regarding the European debt crisis remained on traders' minds. The major index futures are little changed, with the Dow futures down by 4 points. Full Article Economic News May 13, 2010 Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Down To 444,000 First-time claims for unemployment benefits showed another modest decrease in the week ended May 8th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, although the number of claims exceeded estimates due to an upward revision to the previous week's data. Full Article May 13, 2010 Malaysia's Decade High Growth Triggers Policy Tightening Malaysia's economy grew at the fastest pace in a decade in