Trump's wealth is a key part of his public image, his status in the eyes of his fans, and his self-image.
...while Trump is quick to boast that his purported billions prove his business acumen, his net worth is almost unknowable given the
loose standards and numerous outright misrepresentations he has made over the years.
In that 2007 deposition, Trump said he based estimates of his net worth at times on “psychology” and “my own feelings.”
But those feelings are often wrong—in 2004, he presented unaudited financials to Deutsche Bank while seeking a loan, claiming he was worth $3.5 billion. The bank concluded Trump was, to say the least, puffing; it put his net worth at $788 million, records show. (Trump personally guaranteed $40 million of the loan to his company, so Deutsche coughed up the money. He later defaulted on that commitment.) —Newsweek
"Donald and the Forbes 400 were mutually reinforcing. The more Donald's verbal fortune rose, the more often he received prominent mentions in Forbes. The more often Forbes mentioned him, the more credible Donald's claim to vast wealth became. The more credible his claim to vast wealth became, the easier it was for him to get on the Forbes 400 -- which became the standard that others in the news media, and apparently some of the country's biggest banks, used when judging Donald's riches." —New York Times
"Fueled by a slew of bank loans in the late 1980s, Trump absorbed an airline, a football team, a landmark hotel, a bunch of casinos, a yacht, and other nifty stuff -- almost all of which he eventually lost because he couldn’t juggle the debt payments.
He overcame those setbacks, but the man who emerged from that mess wasn’t really a dealmaker anymore. Kept afloat by his wealthy father’s funds and his own gifts for self-promotion, Trump became a reality TV star, golf course developer and human shingle who licensed his name on everything from real estate and vodka to mattresses and underwear."
"Two things in particular jump out in Trump’s “Summary of Net Worth” document: First, his single most valuable asset is apparently the Trump brand and the licensing deals it brings in. He values Just Being Donald Trump at more than $3.3 billion. According to Forbes, his brand is only worth $125 million, plus “another $128 million in management fees for Trump-branded hotels.”
Second, in his list of liabilities, he counts loans and mortgages only on real estate owned 100 percent by him—and, as we’ve seen, much of what says “Trump” on it isn’t wholly owned by The Donald himself. —Gawker
"So much of Trump’s campaign has been about building up this mystique of him as billionaire wunderkind who can take his business skills to the Oval Office...What Cuban, Bloomberg, Buffett do is show that Trump — unlike them — is all smoke and mirrors: He got his start with a huge check from his dad, has filed for bankruptcy multiple times..." —Politico 8/1/16
"Trump nonetheless has an investment record that at best roughly matches and at worst underperforms the market. He did only as well or possibly worse than a retiree with a Vanguard 401(k) did. That's not really impressive. Worse, it suggests that his success is almost entirely the result of having inherited money from his father. His own actions might have even cost him money." —Vox 3/30/16 (and they even grant him that he's a low billionaire!)
"I was paid more than a million dollars," Trump said when...asked how much he'd been paid for a speech...
"But how much of the payments were cash?"
"Approximately $400,000," Trump said.
Trump said his personal math included the intangible value of publicity: The Learning Annex had advertised his speech heavily, and Trump thought that helped his brand. Therefore, in his mind he'd been paid more than $1 million, even though his actual payment was $400,000.
"Do you actually say that, when you say you got a million dollars publicly?" Ceresney asked.
"I don't break it down," Trump said.
In May, under pressure from the news media, Donald Trump made good on a pledge he made four months earlier: He gave $1 million to a nonprofit group helping veterans' families.
Before that, however, when was the last time that Trump had given any of his own money to a charity?
"The Post contacted 188 charities searching for evidence of personal gifts from Trump in the period between 2008 and this May. The Post sought out charities that had some link to Trump, either because he had given them his foundation's money, appeared at their charity galas or praised them publicly.
The search turned up just one donation in that period — a 2009 gift of between $5,000 and $9,999 to the Police Athletic League of New York City.
Since the first day of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has said that he gave more than $102 million to charity in the past five years.
But, in that massive list, one thing was missing. Not a single one of those donations was actually a personal gift of Trump's own money.
"The task at hand: figuring out what Trump's empire actually consisted of. Easier said than done.
Trump delights in the sort of elaborate shell games and impenetrably complex deals that frustrate the most conscientious efforts to assess a person's true worth. "It's always good to do things nice and complicated," he once told an interviewer, "so that nobody can figure it out." —Fortune
...Though Donald would claim after the yards were sold that he remained a principal owner of the site, property records did not list him as such." —New York Times
How much, in total, did Trump raise at that fundraiser? $5.6 million.
How many new donations were announced on Tuesday? By The Post's count, 18 new gifts, totaling about $1.5 million.
An attempt by Donald Trump to slash the property tax bill on a golf club outside New York City may be undermined by records indicating that he previously said the property was worth 35 times more than the value he is now trying to convince a judge to approve.
"That difficulty is compounded by Trump's astonishing ability to prevaricate. No one's saying Trump ought to be held to the same standards of truthfulness as everyone else; he is, after all, Donald Trump. But when Trump says he owns 10% of the Plaza hotel, understand that what he actually means is that he has the right to 10% of the profit if it's ever sold. When he says he's building a "90-story building" next to the U.N., he means a 72-story building that has extra-high ceilings. And when he says his casino company is the "largest employer in the state of New Jersey," he actually means to say it is the eighth-largest" —Fortune
And Donald did scramble back to gain control of some other Manhattan buildings, including 40 Wall Street, which he spent about $35 million to buy and refurbish in 1996. The building has about $145 million in debt attached to it, and New York City tax assessors currently value the property at about $90 million. Donald values it at $400 million. —New York Times
4 years ago today, I released my taxes; became issue. 2016 candidates should release taxes before first contests.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) January 24, 2016
"From our standpoint, if you’re being audited, and you want to do something else, share that information with your returns, you can do that."
"You're only afraid if you got something to be afraid about. He's not afraid of the IRS. He's afraid because of you. I will meet him in Omaha or Mar-a-Lago or he can pick the place,” Buffett offered. “We're both under audit. And believe me, nobody will stop us from talking about what's on those returns. Send the word to him, if you will."
2) I'd bet the 43mm in TAXES the Clinton's paid is not only more taxes than @realDonaldTrump has paid. I'd bet they made more too— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 26, 2016
A friend of Donald Trump’s recently approached him to suggest that he will eventually have to release his tax returns, as every presidential nominee has for decades. The friend told Trump that he should do it before the GOP convention to ensure everyone can process what’s in the returns and help make any revelations “old news” by November. If Trump didn’t do that, he was warned, the odds of politicized leaks from his returns were high, citing several examples from the Obama era, including the illegal leaking of some of Romney’s tax information by the IRS in 2012.
“What will you do if the returns come out as part of an October surprise?” Trump was asked. Trump pondered the question and replied, “I’ll say they aren’t mine.”