Analysis: Donald Trump is getting richer again

When Trump ran for president in 2016, his net worth was $4.5 billion. That number steadily decreased during his time in office, reaching $2.1 billion in 2020. His wealth increased marginally, to $2.4 billion, in 2021, his first year out of office.
What explains Trump’s rise in wealth? According to Forbes, it was the launch of Truth Social, the social media company billed as a conservative alternative to Twitter. Dan Alexander of Forbes wrote:

“Donald Trump, master of reinvention, has a new title: tech entrepreneur. It’s overkill for the 75-year-old, who doesn’t even use email and prefers to scribble notes with marker. But he doesn’t mind jumping into companies where that he has little prior experience, and this job should prove to be much more lucrative than the presidency. In fact, he’s already increased his net worth by $430 million.”

None of that seems to matter to investors. Nor, apparently, does the fact that Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company that is set to take Truth Social public, is currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Shares on the stock have risen from $10 to more than $56 at the close of trading on Monday.

Trump has spent much of his life, and his presidency, exaggerating his wealth.

In a “Net Worth Summary as of June 30, 2014” that Trump released when he announced his presidential bid in 2015, Trump claimed to be worth $8.7 billion. “I’m really rich,” Trump said in his campaign ad that year. “I have a total net worth of $8.73 billion. I’m not doing that to brag. I’m doing it to show that that’s the kind of thinking our country needs.”

A month after that initial assessment, the Trump campaign released a statement touting that his net worth had already increased substantially.

“Real estate values ​​in New York City, San Francisco, Miami, and many other places where you own property have risen sharply during this time period,” the statement stated. “Your debt is a very small percentage of the value and at very low interest rates. As of this date, Mr. Trump’s net worth exceeds TEN BILLION DOLLARS.” (ALL CAPS was in the original release because, well, it’s Trump.)

Trump’s actual net worth in 2015 was $4.1 billion, according to Forbes.

Trump also spent his presidency lamenting the fact that being president was costing him money.

“I told one of my friends, a very rich friend, I said, ‘You know, I bet you it cost me $2 or 3 billion and it’s worth every penny,'” Trump told Fox News in 2018. “I don’t need the money and it’s worth every penny because I’m doing a lot for the country.

Pinpointing Trump’s exact wealth is extremely difficult due, in large part, to the fact that he refused to release any of his tax returns while running for president or during his four years in office. Trump insisted that tax returns did a poor job of cataloging a person’s wealth, which is not true.

Trump’s recent financial gains come at a fortuitous time for him. The New York Times reported in 2020 that Trump was personally responsible for $421 million in loans. Last month, Trump refinanced his mortgage on Trump Tower with a $100 million loan.
According to Forbes, Trump is now the 1,012th richest person in the world.

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