The Treasury Department confirmed on Tuesday that they pulled their list of “Russian oligarchs” from Forbes‘ “200 richest businessmen in Russia 2017” report.
A spokesperson for the department confirmed the list’s source to BuzzFeed News after CNBC and other outlets noticed the Treasury Department’s list was “strikingly similar” to one from Forbes.
The Treasury Department just released the unclassified oligarch list. Here's a thread of all the names of senior Russian officials and "oligarchs" that appear on it: pic.twitter.com/8MHao9Zi2h
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) January 30, 2018
When a spokesperson from the department was asked by BuzzFeed if there is “any truth to the criticisms that the Treasury list was inspired or derived in some way from the Forbes list,” they responded, “yes.”
“The names of and net worth of oligarchs in the unclassified version of the report were selected based on objective criteria drawn from publicly available sources,” the spokesperson said of the 96-person list, nearly all of which were included on Forbes’ Russian businessmen list.
The release of the Treasury Department list was mandated by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a law passed last August that President Donald Trump signed despite saying the legislation was “seriously flawed.” Its release coincided with the president’s decision not to impose further sanctions on Russia, a move for which he’s been widely criticized.