Here’s one conspiracy theory that’s surprisingly popular in the mainstream media: that Donald Trump became President so he could use it to advance the interests of his business empire. “Amid all the craziness, don’t forget: Trump is using the presidency to enrich his family” reported the Washington Post last year, arguing that his actions in office were enriching The Trump Organization (which is currently run by his family, but Donald owns 100% of the entity).
Newsweek, The Economist, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, NYMag, and countless others have published articles making similar accusations, and even Hillary Clinton said in an interview last March that Trump had “undermined” the office of the presidency to “enrich himself and his family.”
There’s a big problem with those theories: Trump’s net worth has fallen during his Presidency. (RELATED: Trump’s Finances Released, Reveals He’s A Billionaire).
According to the Daily Caller:
Trump’s net worth dipped to $2.8 billion, down from $2.9 billion in 2017, according to a Bloomberg estimate of the president’s May 16 financial disclosures. That’s the lowest Bloomberg has seen the former real estate mogul’s wealth since 2015.
While the $100 million decline in net worth indicates Trump isn’t getting rich of his presidency, that doesn’t mean his status as leader of the free world isn’t serving certain parts of his real estate empire.
The Trump Organization’s real estate holdings around the world took a hit over the past few years, but those losses were offset by increased valuations at the Trump Hotel and elsewhere. The hotel, for instance, jumped $30 million to be valued at $100 after posting $40 million in profits.
Other Trump properties, like his Fifth Avenue high-rise and golf courses, lost revenue in the past few years. The 16 golf courses lost value of around $70 million, but the Ireland and Scotland properties gained value. Notably, the Doral, Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago resorts in Florida — which the press refers to as Trump’s Winter White House — lost revenue.
Given that this marks the second straight year that Trump’s net worth has decreased, if he’s using the presidency to enrich himself, he isn’t doing a very good job at it. Of course, that isn’t what he’s doing at all. He isn’t taking even as much as a salary.
Does the media have egg on its face for claiming Trump was using the White House to enrich himself? Share your thoughts with us below!
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