On Thursday, President Donald Trump’s annual financial disclosure was released and showed what most people knew all along– he’s rich.
However, CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza fact-checked Trump for claiming that his financial disclosure is better than the release of his tax returns.
“What this financial disclosure doesn’t show us — in any sort of detail — is a) how much, specifically, Trump made (and from where) and b) how much his businesses owe — and to whom,” Cillizza explained.
Adding, “The range on the financial disclosure report makes that sort of specificity laughable. Trump is only required to report income in broad categories like $1 million to $5 million or over $5 million. That broadness makes any sort of attempted forensic analysis pointless.”
Trump said after the 2018 midterm election that “you get far more” from seeing his financial disclosure and that they are more sufficient than his tax returns.
“People don’t understand tax returns. Now, I did do a (financial disclosure) filing of over a hundred pages, I believe, which is in the offices. And when people went and saw that filing and they saw the magnitude of it, they were very disappointed. And they saw the — you know, the detail. You get far more from that. And I guess we filed that, now, three times. But you get far more from that than you could ever get from a tax return,” Trump said.
Cillizza went on to explain Trump’s unprecedented actions.
“Most presidents prior to Trump have not had the sort of massive global company that he sat atop prior to being elected. Past presidents also revealed at least some of their past tax returns. And generally speaking, they put their businesses in a blind trust — meaning that their investments, gains, and losses were managed by a neutral third party — with zero input of influence from the president,” he said.
Adding, “The reality that the release of his annual financial disclosure report drives home is that Trump is simultaneously a) the modern president with the most fingers in a variety of business pots and income streams and b) the least transparent modern president about his financial holdings and his relationship while in office to them.”
Read the full report here.