The Federal Election Commission Wednesday released the 92-page personal financial disclosure of one Donald J. Trump, a $4 billion puddle of tinted moisturizer haphazardly garnished with hair and eyebrows who wants to be the next president. The Trump-puddle, who oozed slowly down an escalator last month and (inaccurately) declared he was worth $8.7 billion, has increased his claim by more than a billion since then.
Where did the secret 10th billion come from? Hard to say. As CNN points out, assets over $50 million don’t have to be broken down in the election commission document, and their value doesn’t have to be specified. Also, the information Trump released last month was current as of 2014—the new document reflects his income over the past 18 months, which has apparently been substantial.
Apparently. Trump has always been a man of “verbal billions,” who has been caught exaggerating his net worth numerous times over the years. Forbes estimated his June report was trumped up (kill me now) by as much as 100 percent. That doesn’t mean Trump lies on financial documents, though. Mostly, he fudges the numbers by valuing his personal brand at billions more than most outside commenters would credit it for. As he once put it in a deposition: Lying? No. Exaggeration? Could be.
His brand is obviously not valueless: “Mr. Trump earned at least $9.5 million in royalties from merely licensing his name” last year, the New York Times reports. There’s no totaled-up line item for “brand and licensing deals” on the FEC disclosure form, but he valued the Trump name at $3.3 billion as of last year.
Also of note: Trump was paid up to $450,000 per speaking engagement last year, and also collected $110,000 in Screen Actors Guild pension—his position on unions is surprisingly positive for a billionaire monopolist-wannabe.
“The construction unions I deal with want more in the pay envelope for their rank and file. That’s what they tell you every time you sit down at the table. You can respect that-even as you push back to cut the best deal from your perspective. That’s the American way,” he wrote in The America We Deserve, a book for which he collected less than $201 in royalties last year.
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