Exposed: Trump’s False Populism Laid Bare As White House Releases Finances Of 200 Staffers

Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp.”

What we didn’t know – well, actually anyone could have seen it coming, but what the more gullible of his support base apparently didn’t anticipate – is that once the swamp dwellers were drained, they would be promptly replaced by Trump’s relatives and by an inner circle of millionaires and billionaires.

Well, under pressure from the media and from Americans who think this entire spectacle is nothing if not an enormous farce and one of the most spectacular examples of hypocrisy in the history of political hypocrisy, the administration has released personal financial information for scores of Trump staffers offering what Bloomberg calls “the clearest view yet into the financial backgrounds of the wealthiest administration in modern history.

All told, Trump’s senior staff members have a net worth of more than $12 billion and as Quartz notes, “taken as a whole, the disclosures paint a picture of a wealthy group that, despite the populist leanings of Donald Trump’s campaign, is firmly in the top 1% of Americans when it comes to income and assets.”

“New documents released Friday night by the White House revealed hard numbers showing how President Trump, who campaigned as a champion of the working class, has surrounded himself with a circle of wealthy advisers,” WaPo writes, adding that “together, 27 White House officials had assets worth at least $2.3 billion when they joined the administration.”

Make no mistake folks, this is populism exposed. And it’s not unique to the Trump administration. When you hear these messages from administration officials, from their ideological affiliates in Europe, and from all corners of the Right-wing peanut gallery whether on television or in cyberspace, ask yourself this: “are these people really who they say they are and do they really represent my interests?”

Full list of notables with links:

Steve Bannon, assistant to the president and chief strategist

Thomas Bossert, homeland security adviser

Gary Cohn, chief economic adviser

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president

Reed Cordish, assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives

Makan Delrahim, deputy White House counsel

John Eisenberg, legal adviser, National Security Council

Michael Ellis, special assistant to the president and associate counsel

Jason Greenblatt assistant to the president and special representative for international negotiations

Julia Hahn, deputy policy strategist

Hope Hicks, director of strategic communications

Joseph Kellogg, chief of staff and executive secretary, National Security Council

Jared Kushner, assistant to the president and senior adviser to the president

Gerrit Lansing, chief digital officer

Chris Liddell, assistant to the president and director of strategic initiatives

Omarosa Manigault, director of communications, OPL

Stephen Miller, senior adviser to the president for policy

Kathleen McFarland , deputy national security adviser

Donald McGahn, counsel to the president

Bill McGinley, Cabinet secretary

Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council

Jennifer Pavlik, deputy assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff to the vice president

Dina Powell, assistant to the president and senior counselor for economic initiatives

Dan Scavino, director of social media

Marc Short, director of legislative affairs

Sean Spicer, press secretary

Katie Walsh, former deputy chief of staff for implementation

Highlights From Bloomberg, Politico, WaPo, NY Times


  • Details of the sprawling real-estate holdings owned by the family of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald J. Trump, were made public in documents released late Friday night — as were Kushner’s personal debts.
  • Kushner held personal lines of credit of as much as $90m to 10 financial institutions as of his Jan. 22 appointment to the White House, filing shows
  • Six of the lines were held jointly with his parents
  • Among the lenders are Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., Israel-based IDB Bank, and Deutsche Bank, which is also Trump’s largest lender
  • Kushner divested from 58 businesses ahead of taking office, though he is still the primary beneficiary of assets worth at least hundreds of millions, most of them real estate
  • Filings for Kushner show he has divested from 58 businesses, but is still connected to his family’s real estate empire. The disclosure lists assets, mostly real estate, with a value between $241 million and $741 million. Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, reported income of as much as $195 million in the filing, which covers 2016 and part of this year, though much of that amount resulted from divesting assets.
  • Documents also included information about assets held by Ivanka Trump; filing shows a business trust that holds her branded apparel line has a value of more than $50m
  • The Kushner company has taken out loans from Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and Deutsche Bank, the German financial giant that is also President Trump’s biggest lender, filings show. The company also borrowed money from the French bank Natixis and Israel’s biggest bank, Bank Hapoalim, now under investigation by the Department of Justice, according to documents.

Gary Cohn

  • Gary Cohn’s Assets Total at Least $254 Million, Filing Shows
  • Cohn’s holdings detailed in White House ethics filing Friday night
  • The document released Friday provides a much fuller picture of Cohn’s wealth than did a two-page form released by the federal ethics agency on March 17. That filing showed Cohn owned almost 23.4 million shares of Beijing-based Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. The stake, probably acquired in a 2006 investment made by Goldman Sachs and its private-equity funds, was valued at more than $15 million at the time of the earlier disclosure.
  • The March 17 filing also showed that Cohn planned to divest more than $216 million in Goldman Sachs shares, 18 other publicly traded stocks and investments in eight company-managed funds. Cohn’s wife, Lisa Pevaroff, owned stakes in three such funds.
  • In addition to the many millions of dollars in cash and stock Mr. Cohn received from Goldman Sachs that made up the lion’s share of his personal assets, he held a slew of positions in publicly traded stocks — many of which he has already said he plans to sell — and in various private entities. Those entities include a stake valued at more than $1 million in a consumer education and consulting business called Payoff, a position in a cosmetics retailer also valued at more than $1 million, investments in several self-storage concerns in Ohio valued at $100,000 or more each, and an investment in a venture capital fund run by Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley powerhouse, valued at $100,000 or more.

Steve Bannon

  • Steve Bannon earned more than half a million dollars last year from entities linked to a pair of major conservative donors, according to documents released by the White House detailing the personal finances of its officials.
  • Bannon reported an ownership stake of $1 million or more in a data-crunching firm that worked for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during the presidential race. He also took in $191,000 in consulting fees in 2016 as executive chairman of the conservative media website Breitbart News, which sided with Trump during the Republican primary.
  • White House chief strategist Steve Bannon holds assets worth between $11.9 million and $53.9 million and disclosed $1.15 million in income for 2016 and part of this year, according to a report released Friday.
  • His bank accounts were valued at as much as $2,250,000, while he listed rental real estate valued at as much as $10.5 million.
  • Bannon’s assets include multiple rental real estate properties and stakes in entertainment companies — but no common stock, mutual funds or bonds, according to the 12-page disclosure report released by the White House.
  • The disclosure also provided a look into how Bannon continues to benefit from the sale of Bannon & Co., the firm he created with fellow Goldman Sachs colleagues in 1990.
  • The company, which focused on media and entertainment deals, helped facilitate the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment from Westinghouse Electric to Ted Turner. As part of the fee for the deal, Bannon’s firm accepted a stake in five television shows, including “Seinfeld.” Bannon & Co. was sold to Société Générale in 1998.
  • Bannon listed income between $50,001 and $100,000 in rent or royalties from that deal last year.
  • Bannon’s disclosure also shows that he earned significant income from his work producing “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

Sean Spicer


Julia Hahn

  • The 25-year-old aide to chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, reported investments worth between $1.1 million and $2.5 million.
  • Julia Hahn, until she went to work in the White House, was known as the 20-something reporter who filled with conservative screeds. But she is also quite rich for her age.
  • A PNC custodial account owned by Ms. Hahn is valued at $500,000 to $1 million. And various stock funds listed on her financial disclosure are worth as much as $1.5 million.
  • Her work as a journalist was also nothing to sneeze at. As a reporter, she made $117,217 last year at Breitbart. On top of that, she earned $74,082 from Laura Ingraham’s radio show.

Reed S. Cordish

  • Baltimore-based real estate developer Reed S. Cordish, had assets worth at least $197 million.

Kellyanne Conway

  • Counselor to the president, earned nearly $850,000 in the past year and held assets worth between $10 million and as much as $39 million.
  • Kellyanne Conway, one of Mr. Trump’s top advisers, is wealthy, but modestly so when compared with some of her superrich colleagues.
  • Ms. Conway, a Republican strategist and pollster, made over $800,000 last year, her filing shows. As head of her own consulting firm, Ms. Conway’s clients included an assortment of conservative causes, including the National Rifle Association and the Tea Party Patriots, as well as Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm that advised Mr. Trump’s campaign. She was also paid for a speaking engagement at Point72 Asset Management, the investment firm run by the billionaire stock picker Steven A. Cohen.

Kenneth Juster

  • The deputy director of the National Economic Council and former partner at the investment firm Warburg Pincus, reported minimum assets of at least $20.4 million.


Here’s the spin from Sean Spicer:

I think one of the really interesting things that people are going to see today — and I think it’s something that should be celebrated — is that the president has brought a lot of people into this administration, and this White House in particular, who have been very blessed and very successful by this country, and have given up a lot to come into government by setting aside a lot of assets. And I think it speaks volumes to the desire for a lot of these people to fulfill the president’s vision and move the agenda forward that they are willing to list all of their assets, undergo this public scrutiny, but also set aside a lot.

So you can (and should) review the details for yourself in the linked documents, but at the end of the day, the following headline from The Daily Beast sums it up best:



4 thoughts on “Exposed: Trump’s False Populism Laid Bare As White House Releases Finances Of 200 Staffers

  1. So, to summarize, Trump threw his homies under the bus by allowing this embarrassing info dump to be released, yet we STILL have not seen HIS tax returns.

    The skeletons in Trump’s closet are rattling loudly….

  2. Well, I have only read thru one financial summary so far – Sean Spicer – because I figured he was bottom on the totem pole on that list of million-billionairs. Then read his comment about all the financial success and how blessed they all are blah blah blah and to list their assets for public scrutiny in order to help fulfill the President’s vision…yadda yadda yadda…..and I note that he has a pretty high income for a puppet but am really wondering if he is so successful and blessed with a lot of assets why is he so deep in debt on two credit cards and why did he need a personal loan last year of maybe $50,000? Not so impressed now and really not trusting of any one of them for their honesty. Sean seems cash poor and living on the edge – maybe that is why he allows Chief Assface to humiliate him every single day.

  3. Talk about being sold down the river. This is nothing more than a protection racket as (wealthy) people along with all their cronies and lap dogs are paid to protect the interests of wealthier people as the wealthiest just snap their fingers or say roll over. The 99% are just pawns in a game of RISK they can’t win because it’s rigged to begin with.

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