Top White House officials worth billions, records show

Top White House officials worth billions, records show
April 01 10:26 2017

President Donald Trump has publicly released the financial disclosures of top officials in his administration – including those of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

According to Sky News, the publicly released files show Mr Kushner, and his wife Ivanka Trump, are holding on to scores of real estate investments as they serve in White House roles – assets which are part of a portfolio worth at least $240m (£191m).

However, The New York Times reports the couple’s empire could be far bigger than this, with a value of up to $741m (£591m).

Mr Bannon disclosed assets of between $13m and $56m (£10m and £45m), and earned about $200,000 (£159,000) as executive director of Breitbart News before he resigned to join Mr Trump’s presidential campaign last August.

One of the wealthiest members of Mr Trump’s administration, aside from the President himself, is chief economics adviser Gary Cohn, who has assets worth at least $230m (£183m).

However, Mr Cohn’s true worth may be far more than this – as little information was given about his assets, only to say that they are worth more than $1m (£800,000).

Reed Cordish, Mr Trump’s technology adviser, disclosed assets of between $92m and $798m (£73m and £636m) – and reported an annual income of up to $55m (£44m).

These financial disclosures are required by law – revealing the incomes of President Trump’s inner circle in the 12 months before they began working for the government, as well as the positions they had held.

Some have held to divest from assets identified by White House lawyers as posing a potential conflict of interest – and the documents show Mr Kushner has sold off 58 businesses and investments which could prove problematic.

However, his lawyers have determined that his real estate assets – many of which are in New York City – are unlikely to pose the kinds of conflict which would require him to divest.

According to the Office of Government Ethics, one in four officials in Mr Trump’s White House had “extremely complex” financial reports.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer has described the business people who have joined the administration – which is one of the wealthiest in history – as “very blessed and very successful”.

He added that the disclosure forms demonstrate that many officials have set aside “a lot” to go into public service.

Information about President Trump’s assets was not included in the Friday night document dump. Vice President Mike Pence’s financial affairs also went uncovered in the release.

Ivanka Trump agreed to become a federal employee in the past few days, and she will have to file her own financial disclosure in the coming weeks.

The 35-year-old’s recent roles have included running a fashion brand and working in her father’s global real estate development business.