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US Ethics Office Releases Trump Financial Disclosure Forms

19 June 2017

The financial disclosure, which Trump voluntarily submitted to the Office of Government Ethics on Friday, showed that the businessman-turned-president had earned millions of dollars from the personal businesses he retired from upon taking office in January.

The 98-page disclosure document posted on the ethics office's website shows liabilities for Trump of at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, a unit of German-based Deutsche Bank AG. The disclosure form includes reported income of $37.2 million for the Florida resort, up sharply from $29.8 million in the prior year's report.

Trump reported over $80,000 in pension from the Screen Actor's Guild.

His sons Eric and Donald Jr. are in charge of the trust that holds all of Trump's business assets, of which he is a beneficiary and can draw money from any time he wants.

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Because the new disclosure includes a four-and-a-half-month period covered by his last report, it is hard to precisely gauge whether revenue at Trump's businesses has gone up or down.

The Emoluments clause which aims to prevent foreign financial ties as projected onto the Trump International Hotel in Washington in May.

Mr Trump's financial disclosures have added importance because he is not following the long tradition of presidential candidates and office-holders making public their tax returns. Administrations often release promised documents once journalists have left the office for the weekend, hoping that any damaging info would get lost in the news cycle turnover. His assets probably exceeded $1.4 billion because the disclosure form provided ranges of values.

The forms show that Trump reported $7 million in book royalties, $19.7 million in income from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and $19.7 million from his recently opened hotel in Washington, D.C.

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President Donald Trump is outlining the financial health of the business assets he placed into a trust when he took office.

His tenure in most of those posts ended on January 19, the day before his inauguration and in others in 2015 and 2016. In the filing, Trump mostly lists limited liability corporations and partnerships that he owns. The income listed for Trump enterprises generally represent gross revenue, not net revenue.

Ethics experts have anxious that Trump's businesses give those who wish to curry favor - especially a hotel blocks from the White House - prominent venues in which to do so. Two days earlier, Maryland and the District of Columbia filed suit on similar grounds. That's a 139 percent increase in income, part of which may have to do with the doubling of membership fees at Mar-A-Lago earlier this year. Forcing him to sell it - as critics have demanded - would create an "enormous personal financial loss for the president", Trump's lawyers said in a response to one lawsuit.

He had roughly US$20 million in income from his new marquee Washington hotel, which opened just down the street from the White House last September.

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