Donald Trump Fights Forbes Over His Net Worth

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

CNBC Excerpt: CNBC’s John Harwood Speaks with Donald Trump on His Net Worth.

Trump has claimed that his net worth is more than $10 billion, but Forbes says it’s less than half that at $4.5 billion in its latest list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. A July disclosure through the Federal Election Commission offered voters a close look at Donald Trump’s onetime stock portfolio, which he liquidated by January 2014 in preparation for his bid for the presidency.“But I have a lot of cash,” Trump says in interview published by CNBC Wednesday. “If I had, I think — I’m not going to tell you how much cash I have, but I have hundreds of millions of dollars of cash.” “I’m doing deals right now — in fact, when I leave you, I’m signing a branding deal that’s a phenomenally tremendous, hundreds of millions of dollars in value, all because of my brand,” Trump says Despite the news media’s unwillingness to subject Donald Trump’s history or policies to the scrutiny routinely accorded the campaigns of less flamboyant (but more credible) presidential candidates, the greater problem is not Trump himself — we will always have the deluded and self-absorbed among us — but the large crowds that continue to cheer with wild abandon at each outrageous and ill-informed statement he makes.

They don’t really know my assets very well,” Trump told John Harwood during an interview at Trump Grill. “I think that they are very good people. Governor John Kasich of Ohio was correct when he said in the first Republican presidential debate of the season that Trump has tapped into something in the electorate. John Harwood spoke with Donald Trump for an upcoming episode of his CNBC Digital original video series – Speakeasy with John Harwood ( The problem is that the anger Trump feeds upon — and fuels — is often divorced from any understanding of how a constitutional democracy should work.

Trump’s litany of promises — guaranteed by him to make our heads spin — leads to two possible outcomes: either renewed and heightened disillusionment (when what he proposes to do lies outside the range of presidential authority and beyond where even a semi-rational Congress will follow), or a mob-fueled discarding of constitutional order and the rise of dictatorship, fearful in its own right and even more dangerous in its irrationality. In assessing the Trump candidacy, one should focus not on the bluster but on the presidency he promises, and how avidly and uncritically the mobs embrace the dark scenario he evokes (dark because where he would take us would lead to both financial and moral bankruptcy and perhaps to the darkest place of all: war).

IT IS TITLED “AT HOME WITH THE TRUMPS.” THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL FRONT RUNNER ALSO SPEAKING WITH OUR OWN JOHN HARWOOD IN THE LATEST EDITION OF JOHN’S SPEAKEASY SERIES. Here’s what he said, according to an article by Forbes’ Randall Lane: “I think you’re trying to make me as poor as possible,” Trump told the magazine. In his dismissal of the “stupid” people he sees all around him, Trump the Builder equates constructing a casino or a hotel with sealing the United States off from the world south of its borders.

That is all I’m gonna say.” “Well, I think the biggest difference is in terms of how he values his brand, We don’t use brand value in terms of our valuations because we figure if you have some brand value that you’re going to find a way to monetize, but until you do, we don’t count it,” said Forbes, chairman and editor in chief at Forbes. And whereas the Trump tower was built with private funds, that $3.5 billion price tag for America’s “great wall,” notwithstanding his claims that he would make the Mexicans pay for it, would ultimately be charged to the taxpayers, including many of those who wave Trump’s banners and cheer his name because they are furious at entrenched politicians who seem to them unable to control federal spending.

Grandiosity is not cheap, and one cannot simultaneously have Trumpian excess and frugal government, a contradiction that seems to challenge the calculating abilities of his enthusiastic audiences. MSFT, +0.35% co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates with a net worth of $76 billion, Billionaire investor Warren Buffett at $62 billion, and tech mogul Larry Ellison at $47.5 billion lead the magazine’s wealth list. Trump, however, calls not for management but for racist exclusion (racist because of his blanket condemnation of the illegal immigrant community not merely for bypassing legal immigration procedures — a crime, but a problem that can be dealt with — but as a breeding farm for rapists and robbers). Trump’s net worth has proved a sensitive subject, leading him to file a lawsuit in 2006 against a reporter, who Trump claimed understated his wealth. The fact is that most people who come to America do so for opportunity, advancement, new lives: The influx must be managed — entry procedures and regulated pathways to citizenship must replace unfettered flow — but there is a dark blanket of race-baiting under which Trump and his most fervent supporters have huddled.

There were 25 newcomers to the Forbes list this year, most notably SnapChat co-founder Evan Spiegel, who at 25 is the youngest billionaire in the world. In 1935, the American novelist Sinclair Lewis published “It Can’t Happen Here,” in which the central character, Buzz Windrip, is elected president on a platform very much like the one Trump presents today, with its promises to restore national greatness.

After he’s elected, Windrip shuts down (as Trump shouts down) dissent, shoves Congress aside, and “reorganizes” government for greater efficiency and control. There is blame to be shared by Trump’s rivals for the presidency — the Democrats who find it beneficial to claim that his excesses are common to Republicans as a whole rather than attack the menace he poses — and the Republicans who fear angering the seething base at his command and thus mute their criticisms, simply waiting for him to go away. Former Republican Representative Mickey Edwards is author of “The Parties Versus the People: How To Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans” and vice president of the Aspen Institute.

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