Trump’s businesses took in $2.4 billion in revenue while he was president

Former President Donald Trump’s business took in $2.4 billion in revenue during his four years in office, according to a new report from Forbes.

And Trump’s business empire would have raked in even more if it weren’t for the pandemic. During the first three years of his presidency, Trump’s business made about $650 million annually. In 2020, as the pandemic ravaged the hotel industry, revenue dropped to an estimated $450 million, Forbes reports. 

Trump famously refused to divest from his businesses as he took office, an unprecedented move for presidents. Trump maintained ownership of his business empire throughout his single term, but handed control to his two sons during his presidency. Though the arrangement was legal, government watchdogs said it did not go far enough. 

“I could actually run my business and run government at the same time,” Trump said at the time. “I don’t like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to.”

A majority of the revenue over those four years came through Trump’s clubs and golf properties, which brought in a total of $940 million. Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club in Florida, brought in roughly $90 million alone. 

The former president’s use of his own properties during his time in office was highly controversial. In 2020, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. government had paid Trump’s business at least $2.5 million during Trump’s visits to his own properties. 

Trump used Mar-a-Lago as his own Camp David, hosting summits and foreign dignitaries — including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — at the Palm Beach, Florida, club. 

Trump’s commercial real estate holdings also helped to bolster the bottom line, as tenants locked into long-term contracts continued to pay rent throughout the pandemic. 

The hotel, licensing and management business was not as fortunate during the pandemic. Estimated revenues stayed around $100 million from 2017 to 2019, but dropped closer to $50 million in 2020. 

The debt load across Trump’s business empire is estimated to be more than $1 billion.

But it should be noted that throughout his four years in office, Trump’s net worth fell considerably. In 2016, before he entered the West Wing, Forbes estimated the businessman to be worth $3.7 billion. The current estimate: $2.4 billion.

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