Celebrity mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has told the Federal Election Commission he earns income from more than 150 separate deals, ranging from the real estate projects for which he first became famous to footwear to fine foods — even admission fees from a New York City carousel.
He also holds board or executive positions with more than 500 separate companies and partnerships, he reported to the FEC in an unusually complex disclosure that spans more than 90 pages.
The document, released publicly by the government agency Wednesday, provides an unusually detailed look at the range of the magnate’s holdings. But the disclosure is unlikely to stem the ongoing debate over Trump’s net worth.
Last week, Trump claimed that his net worth for 2015 had reached more than $10 billion. There is no way to corroborate that figure from the document, which requires candidates to list assets, income and liabilities only in broad ranges.
The document does, however, provide a picture of Trump’s evolving empire. It also shows that his holdings have expanded well beyond real estate into the realm of branded developments and brand marketing.
The disclosure shows how the Trump name has been deployed in recent years to market not only high-end development projects but also a range of consumer goods from mattresses to menswear, from water to wine.
Trump has long been accused of overstating his wealth. The personal financial statement is required by law of presidential candidates, and they must swear to its accuracy.
Some Trump watchers had speculated he would drop out of the presidential race before filing the disclosure. He has said that his willingness to submit the form should be taken as a sign of the seriousness of his campaign.
The fat filing released Wednesday was viewed by Washington ethics experts as a good-faith effort to comply with federal rules.
“It looks like a serious filing,” said Jan Baran, a former general counsel to the Republican National Committee who now heads the election law and government ethics practice at the Wiley Rein law firm.
Trump has been surging in polls of the crowded Republican presidential field, even as his belligerent rhetoric has caused some corporate partners to cut ties and sparked outrage from political leaders.
Over Trump’s decades-long career, his public boasts about his wealth sometimes failed to take into account his massive debts. In recent days, he has bragged that his holdings are encumbered by little debt.
Trump told the FEC that he has just 15 creditors, though they included four to whom he said he owed more than $50 million each. Those included mortgages on New York property and a mortgage on a golf course in Doral, Fla. In all, the FEC document shows that he has at least $270 million in debt.
When he first filed the form last week, Trump’s campaign complained that the document is not designed for “a man of Mr. Trump’s massive wealth.” They noted the top range the form allows for the value of assets is more than $50 million. But the same is also true for his debts. As a result, the true extent of Trump’s empire is difficult to discern from the document.
Another reason: Most of his holdings are in real estate and trademarks, two areas that are famously difficult to evaluate, said Karl Sandstrom, a former FEC commissioner now with the Perkins Coie law firm in Washington. This gives Trump unusual latitude in estimating the value of his assets.
“The fact that he has so many intangible assets gives him the liberty to estimate their value himself,” Baran said.
Though Trump listed the income he received from each of his licensing deals, he also indicated to the FEC that value of the arrangements was “not readily ascertainable” and he frequently declined to list a value. That could present a problem, some experts said, when the Office of Government Ethics staff conducts a close review of his disclosure, as required of presidential candidates.
“The OGE goes through these with a sharp pencil,” said Kenneth Gross, former associate general counsel at the FEC now practicing ethics law in Washington. “It is not unusual for OGE to question gaps in a report.”
On his form, Trump valued 23 separate partnerships with which he is involved at more than $50 million each. They included his property at 40 Wall Street, his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., and his golf course in Jupiter, Fla. Three more, he said, were worth between $25 million and $50 million.
With a specificity not required by law, Trump said he made $588,518 last year in admissions fees at the Trump Carousel in New York City’s Central Park. He also made more than $3.4 million from the Miss Universe pageant.
Trump reported that he delivered seven paid speeches, pocketing $1.75 million in fees. Most of that amount, $1.3 million, came from one group: ACN, a multilevel-marketing company. He also listed royalties from 13 books — with the highest-earning, his 2011 critique of President Obama titled “Time to Get Tough,” pulling in between $50,000 and $100,000. He reported an investment in gold valued up to $250,000.
As for assets in the Washington region, Trump reported earning more than $14 million last year from the Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia, which he valued at more than $50 million. He said his hotel in the Old Post Office, where celebrity chef José Andrés recently canceled a deal to open a restaurant because of Trump’s campaign rhetoric, is worth as much as $25 million.
Anu Narayanswamy contributed to this report.
Note: This story has been updated to reflect the number of Trump partnerships and creditors valued at more than $50 million.