Forbes 400 creator demolishes Trump's lie that the presidency is costing him billions of dollars
Financial reporter Jonathan Greenberg appears on CNN (Screen cap).

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump complained at a campaign stop at a Pennsylvania petrochemical factory that the presidency is costing him a "fortune" — possibly as much as $5 billion.


In conversation with CNN's Erin Burnett, "Forbes 400" list creator and financial journalist Jonathan Greenberg shot down his lie.

"The president says it's costing me from $3 to $5 billion, does that claim add up?" asked Burnett.

"No, it doesn't add up," said Greenberg. "I mean, Donald Trump has never been worth $3 to $5 billion."

"So the bottom line is he doesn't have that much to begin with," said Burnett. "Then the second part is, I'm losing money, right? I'm losing money because I'm president. Does that add up?"

"No, he's losing money and he is making money," said Greenberg. "He's losing money partly because he is a very bad businessman. He brought the Doral Hotel for example, it's bigger than his next 10 clubs put together. It loses money because he is a terrible manager and people don't want to stay at his golf clubs. He's losing money on luxury apartment buildings because the money launderers, the Russian and drug money cartels don't want to invest with him because he's more high profile. He makes money from Mar-a-Lago where he doubled the entrance fees, and he's making money at the Trump International Hotel in Washington."

"So, there is a negative, but the positive, you're saying, overall outweighs," said Burnett.

"And the legal fees he's speaking about," added Greenberg. "Legal fees, they might be $5 million for a case for the — for some of the cases he is talking about. He is talking about $5 billion. That's 1,000 times that much. And most legal fees are related to criminal activities he has engaged in or suspected of, such as Trump University and his foundation where he took money from them. So those are most of his legal fees."

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