In the year before Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign, booming real estate markets increased the celebrity mogul’s wealth by more than $1 billion, Trump said Wednesday.
Trump’s 2014 gains were announced by his campaign with typical Trump flair — spelled out in all capital letters in a press statement proclaiming that his net worth as of now “is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS.”
The statement announced that Trump, who has rocketed to the top of polls in the crowded Republican presidential field, had filed his personal financial disclosures with the Federal Election Commission.
But Trump did not release the document, which is intended to give the public information about a candidate’s potential conflicts of interest by listing assets, income and liabilities. Nor did he reveal key details about his finances, which presumably are contained in the FEC filing.
The FEC confirmed receiving Trump’s form and has up to 30 days to review it before releasing it publicly.
Trump, who has cited his business acumen as evidence that he would know how to fix Washington, used his announcement Wednesday to thumb his nose at the traditional political system. His campaign complained that the FEC form — on which candidates disclose financial information in broad ranges — is “not designed for a man of Mr. Trump’s massive wealth.”
“For instance, they have boxes once a certain number is reached that simply state $50 million or more,” the campaign said in a statement. “Many of these boxes have been checked.”
The eventual release of the FEC form, which carries stiff penalties for false information, would provide a rare look into Trump’s finances. Some critics have said that Trump has overstated his wealth in the past as he has crafted a larger-than-life image.
The campaign’s press statement, though vague, laid out some previously undisclosed details about his financial portfolio.
His wealth, for example, includes $213 million from NBC for his work with 14 seasons of “The Apprentice.” The statement also said Trump is involved with 500 different business entities, with sole ownership of 91 percent, though the campaign did not name them on Wednesday.
Though Trump has sharply criticized President Obama’s economic record, the Trump campaign statement Wednesday indicated that he had fared particularly well over the past year.
Just a few weeks ago, Trump estimated his net worth at $8.7 billion. But his campaign said his wealth had increased since those financial documents were prepared a year ago — due to the rising value of his real estate holdings in New York, Miami, San Francisco and other cities.
The millions Trump indicated he has earned from NBC provides some measure of the potential cost to him of his recent controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants. The network announced earlier this month that it was “ending its business relationship” with Trump over his comments.
His campaign statement Wednesday offered a different view of the break from NBC. “Mr. Trump decided to turn them down in order to run for President of the United States,” the statement said.