As President Donald Trump was speaking to a campaign rally in Mississippi last night, the rest of the country was working its way through an explosive new story from the New York Times. The newspaper published an in-depth expose that reveals how Trump got his money.
The New York Times’ report openly accuses the Trump family of committing fraud, alleging that the wealthy family dodged taxes, filed improper deductions and intentionally undervalued real estate by hundreds of millions of dollars. This information was gleaned from a vast array of documents, including tax returns and other financial records.
The report also claims that Trump is not the self-made billionaire he claimed to be on the campaign trail. On the contrary, Trump received the equivalent of $413 million in today’s money from his parents while assisting them to evade taxes.
“By age 3, Mr. Trump was earning $200,000 a year in today’s dollars from his father’s empire,” the article says. “He was a millionaire by age 8. By the time he was 17, his father had given him part ownership of a 52-unit apartment building. Soon after Mr. Trump graduated from college, he was receiving the equivalent of $1 million a year from his father. The money increased with the years, to more than $5 million annually in his 40s and 50s.”
Trump has often spoken about how his father gave him a ‘small loan of a million dollars’ from which he built his fortune. It is clear from the NYT report that Trump was earning vasts amounts of money from his father’s businesses as a small child and all through his teen and adult years.
The $1 million loan Trump talks about was much larger – $140 million in today’s money. During the 2016 presidential election, Trump refused to release his tax returns, claiming he could not do so as they were under audit (he could legally have done so). Some commentators in 2016 thought Trump as trying to hide the source of his wealth by not releasing tax returns, it appears they were right.