President Trump Is Raking in the Cash From Very Strange Places

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By Emily Zanotti | 12:20 am, June 18, 2017
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The US Office of Government Ethics has released President Trump’s detailed financial disclosures, outlining around $1.4 billion in assets. That number has grown steadily since Trump took office, even as he’s taken steps to distance himself from his corporation and holdings.

Some of the revenue sources are fairly straightforward. For example, Trump’s newest hotel in Washington, D.C., has raked in around $20 million since opening in September. His Mar-a-Lago resort, where he still stays regularly, had more than $37 million in revenue—more than $10 million more than the previous year.

But Trump earns money from some very strange places and in some very strange ways.

According to the forms, Trump holds or has held a position in around 565 corporations, LLCs, real estate holdings, businesses, and trusts. Among them are hotels, restaurants, trademark holdings and even an aerospace company, DT aerospace (just in case he ever decides to expand his reach beyond the planet Earth).

In 2016, Trump made $670,000 operating the carousel in New York City’s Central Park. Although his name has been removed from the signage, every carousel admission purchased puts a little money in the President’s pocket. The Wollman ice rink in Central Park—also partially owned by the Trump family—earned Trump a cool $12 million.

Lots of people are also buying Trump’s books, perhaps to get a glimpse into what makes the former New York City real estate magnate tick. The Art of the Deal sold barely enough copies in 2015 to give Trump $100,000. In 2016, he made a million in royalties from that book alone.

After he touted his house brand water at a campaign presser, people went out and scooped up hundreds of bottles of “Trump Ice” natural spring water. He made $396,000 off bottled water sales in 2016. He was less successful selling coffee. His “Trump Select” coffee collection made him less than $15,000.

Trump Steaks weren’t listed. Trump Vineyard and Trump Wine is managed primarily by his son Eric.

Trump Models folded in early 2017 as the President’s “polarizing reputation” caused bookings to tank. It must have been a pity for Trump, though: he made $1.8 million from the agency in 2016.

Bizarrely, Trump also made more than $80,000 from the Screen Actors Guild. It turns out, he draws a monthly pension from the Hollywood union, and has since 2011.

The disclosures do back up some of Trump’s contentions, notably that he’s sold off all of his privately held stock, and only maintains an interest in mutual funds and family trusts, which he isn’t directly involved in managing.