Donald Trump is understating his debt by $500 million

Donald Trump 2016 Presidential Election

Donald Trump is understating his debt by $500 million


On the campaign trail, Donald Trump has said dealing with the nation’s $18 trillion debt will be easy. One reason: Trump could just choose to ignore it. That appears to be how Trump has dealt with some of the debt on his own balance sheet.

You’d think that disclosing the total amount one owes would be an essential line item in any net worth statement, but that figure appears nowhere in Trump’s most recently released balance sheet. The Donald does list a category called “loans and mortgages,” but that number surprisingly excludes the debt Trump has a number of buildings that he is a partial owner of, as well as debt he carries on a pile of assets that Trump says are worth over $300 million, but he just labels as “other.”

In a previous story, I found that in public financial disclosures, Donald Trump was counting revenues from golf courses, hotel rooms, and sundry sources as “income.” Since Trump didn’t subtract salaries, utilities, maintenance and all the other routine costs, the big numbers he’s trumpeting aren’t income at all, but gross sales. Just as he was overstating his income, his financial statement appears to be understating the size of his debt. The Donald clearly believes that the public deserves no more than a murky view of his own debt picture.

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