- Campaign unclear on what sources contributed to total
- News release puts Trump’s net worth above $10 billion
Donald Trump claimed income of more than $557 million over the last year, though the campaign provided few details on the sources of the money.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee made the assertion on his income in a news release on Tuesday to announce that he had filed his required annual financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission. But the campaign didn’t release the document.
Trump, a billionaire with interests in real estate, golf resorts and licensing, has campaigned on his business acumen while facing repeated questions about his income, net worth and taxes. Unlike other candidates, he has declined to release his tax returns, saying he will do so after the Internal Revenue Service completes an audit. IRS officials have said there’s no reason taxpayers can’t make their returns public, even during audits.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign released her 11-page financial disclosure Tuesday night after Trump’s news release.
Trump’s statement says the $557 million in income “does not include dividends, interest, capital gains, rents and royalties.”
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, said the campaign wasn’t obligated to provide any more specifics to reporters. “It’s not our obligation to release it,” he said. “It’s our obligation to file it.”
The FEC will eventually make the form itself public, but the agency has as many as 30 days to review it first.
The news release said Trump’s net worth has increased since his last financial disclosure, a 92-page document that he filed in July 2015. “As of this date, Mr. Trump’s net worth is in excess of $10 billion dollars,” the release said.
News reports have questioned the value that Trump places on his assets. Bloomberg News last year estimated his net worth at $2.9 billion. “They don’t know what they’re talking about,” Trump told CNN last July in response to that estimate.
When his actual 2016 filing is released, it may not shed much light on the net-worth question. Any asset worth more than $50 million gets counted the same on the forms. Last year, Trump claimed 23 such assets, including aircraft, the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, and a golf course in Scotland.
It’s also unclear how Trump is defining income. As first reported by Fortune, his 2015 disclosure appeared to conflate income and revenue for 20 income-producing properties that are among his largest, including golf courses and hotels. Federal disclosure requirements say a candidate must disclose income, which would be a smaller number than revenue -- after accounting for business expenses.
Asked about the difference, Lewandowski said, “It’s whatever the government definition is. I’m not going to get into semantics.”
Trump also touted the fact that he had filed his financial disclosure before Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is competing with Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Sanders, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment. Candidates can seek as many as two extensions of 45 days each for filing financial disclosures.
“This is the difference between a businessman and the all talk, no action politicians that have failed the American people for far too long,” Trump said in the news release.