Before he was President, Donald Trump deceived a Forbes reporter about his personal wealth in the 1980s in order to make it onto the magazine’s Forbes 400 list, according to a new allegation by the reporter.
What the reporter, Jonathan Greenberg, detailed on CNN’s “New Day” Friday bears similarities to other tales of Trump passing himself off as (fake) Trump Organization executive, John Barron, and bragging about his exploits on the topics of money and women.
Greenberg said Trump, as Barron, made a roughly $5 million fortune look like $100 million to get on the list.
The current Forbes list puts Trump at No. 248 on the 400 list, No. 766 on its billionaires list, and pegs his worth at $3.1 billion, a significant drop from the $3.7 billion it reported in 2016.
The specific veracity of Greenberg’s allegations, though backed up by a recently discovered audio recording, will have to be sussed out, but it is notably still true that we don’t know as much as you would think about the President’s finances.
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment. The Washington Post reports that the White House declined to comment, and The Trump Organization did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.
Just this week, as the IRS was forced to give everyday Americans an extra day to file their taxes after a large website malfunction, Trump asked for a six-month extension — totally legal — in filing his taxes. Not that it really matters from a transparency standpoint, since even though this wealthiest of Presidents might have the most possibility for conflicts of interest, he has broken, and continues to break with the longstanding custom of letting Americans see his tax returns.
That doesn’t mean we don’t know anything.
He is required, as a candidate for and now as President, to disclose a lot of information about the incredibly large web of companies, real estate and golf courses that bring him his fortune.
CNN this week released an exhaustive review of that information in an expansive interactive — What we do actually know about Trump’s business empire.
There is a lot of information to pore over:
In the most recent filings, he made at least
- $307.7 million from golf properties
- $139.8 million from real estate
- $105.4 million from hotels
- $14 million from show business
- $8.8 million from aircraft
He’s got a pension from the Screen Actor’s Guild (he was a reality TV star, remember), makes money off a carousel in Central Park, brings in a fair amount from licensing his name internationally (although there have been problems on that front recently).
All of this is controlled by his sons and a trust while he’s President.
It would be improper for John Barron to call in and steer the ship.