Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner have a combined wealth estimated in the nine-figures, while Ms Trump remains a stakeholder in Washington’s Trump International Hotel, according to new financial disclosures released by the White House on Friday evening.
The wealth amassed by Mr Trump’s White House inner circle before he became president is exposed by a series of filings covering around 180 top administration officials, including former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn, and Steve Bannon, White House chief strategist.
The president has appointed one of the wealthiest cabinets in US history. The administration has tried to make a virtue of their riches by emphasising how much they had to give up to join the administration.
On Friday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, characterised White House officials as “blessed” in their private sector careers.
“The president has brought a lot of people into this administration, into the White House, in particular, who have been very blessed and very successful by this country and have given up a lot to come into the government by setting aside a lot of assets,” Mr Spicer said.
Yet the disclosure forms put in focus the yawning gap between the financial situations of Mr Trump’s millionaire public servants and the economic realities for most of his supporters who voted for him because of his populist, anti-establishment message.
One of the wealthiest White House officials is the president’s daughter Ivanka who this week was officially appointed “Assistant to the President”.
While a financial disclosure form for Ms Trump has not yet been made public, as she only became an official employee last week, the estimated value of her assets and liabilities are listed on the disclosure form of her husband.
According to Mr Kushner’s 54-page disclosure, the couple is estimated to be worth somewhere between $144m and well over $700m, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of real estate assets and investments and less than $100m in liabilities.
Ms Trump’s business, which includes her eponymous fashion line, is worth an estimated $50m — and is now being held in a trust operated by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Her real estate investments are estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to the disclosure form, Ms Trump remains a shareholder in the Trump International Hotel, located just a stone’s throw from the White House, with a stake in the hotel worth an estimated $5m to $25m. Ms Trump, it says, earned between $1m and $5m on that stake between January and March of this year alone.
Ethics lawyers have already raised concerns about conflicts of interests regarding the hotel, noting that companies and foreign governments could use business with the hotel as a way to curry favour with the new administration.
Mr Kushner, meanwhile, has disclosed that up until January he was involved with no fewer than 260 non-governmental entities, most of them limited liability companies and tied to specific real estate assets, all of them registered in either Manhattan or Florham Park, New Jersey, Mr Kushner’s home state. Mr Kushner was formerly also the publisher of the New York Observer, which according to his disclosure, had a value of less than $1,000.
Mr Trump’s cabinet is estimated to have a collective net worth of up to $12bn, according to Bloomberg, and their financial disclosures show some of them to be among the country’s one per cent.
Mr Bannon, who portrays himself as the intellectual mastermind of the populist working class movement that elected Mr Trump, earned at leat $1.2m last year from a range of consulting and film businesses, or more than 20 times the $56,000 a year median household income in the US in 2016.
He also had at least $1.1m in cash sitting in three bank accounts, investment properties worth at least $2.25m that paid him between $70,000 and $165,000 in rental income last year, and a stake worth between $1m and $5m in Cambridge Analytica, an opinion research firm that advised the Trump campaign.
According to his financial disclosure form, Mr Bannon has agreed to sell his stake in Cambridge Analytica and is awaiting a sign-off from the Office of Government Ethics that would allow him to avoid capital gains taxes on the sale. He also has agreed to sell equity worth at least $100,000 in a film production company called Glittering Steel.
Mr Cohn, who became chief of Mr Trump’s National Economic Council in January, earned at least $40m of income from compensation including salary, bonus and dividends during the period, which covers 2016 and the first part of 2017.
Mr Cohn also disclosed assets valued at close to $250m and possibly considerably more, including a stake in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China worth at least $1m, as well as stakes in US companies including Facebook, Twitter, McDonald’s Corp, and Bank of America. His other holdings include an investment worth over $1m in a California cosmetics company called Violet Grey and a stake in a firm that owns a helicopter.
The disclosures show assets at the time the individuals joined the White House and some may since have been sold, White House officials stressed in a briefing earlier.
Among the other White House figures whose earnings were reported was Kellyanne Conway, the former Trump campaign manager who is now a counsellor to the president. Her filing disclosed earnings of over $800,000 from The Polling Company/Woman Trend, the consulting firm she used to lead, as well as an array of consultancy deals for organisations including Cambridge Analytica, an opinion research firm that advised Mr Trump.
Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, reported receiving more than $2.4m in compensation as a partner in the Jones Day law firm.
Additional reporting by David J Lynch