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Monday, August 21, 2017

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.


In a remarkable Friday night news dump, the Trump administration made dozens of White House staffers’ financial disclosure forms available. But they did it with an extra dose of opacity.

These are important disclosures from the people who have the president’s ear and shape national policy. They lay out all sorts of details, including information on ownership of stocks, real estate and companies, and make possible conflicts of interest public.

But the White House required a separate request for each staffer’s disclosure. And they didn’t give the names of the staffers, leaving us to guess who had filed disclosures, a kind of Transparency Bingo.

Since the White House wasn’t going to post the documents publicly, we did.

We teamed up with The New York Times and The Associated Press, requested docs for every staffer we know and put them in this public Google Drive folder.

We’re continuing to look through them. And we want your help: If you see anything that merits a closer look, comment on the thread below or fill out our Google Form.

Among the things we’ve learned already:

Steve Bannon, President Trump’s hand-picked chief strategist, earned more than $500,000 last year through businesses connected to Republican donors Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah. The companies include the conservative website Breitbart News Network; the data-crunching firm Cambridge Analytica; the conservative nonprofit Government Accountability Institute; and the entertainment production company Glittering Steel. (Per an agreement with White House ethics attorneys, Bannon is selling his stakes in Cambridge Analytica and Glittering Steel. He made somewhere between $1.3 million and $2.3 million last year, according to the filings.)

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, resigned his positions in 266 different business entities in order to comply with federal ethics rules, White House officials said Friday. He and his wife Ivanka’s financial disclosure shows the scale of their wealth, largely through the family-run Kushner Companies: real estate and investments worth as much as $741 million.

And Kushner is holding onto more than 100 real-estate assets, including a Trump-branded rental building in Jersey City, New Jersey, which was financed with millions from wealthy Chinese investors through a visa program.

As part of Kushner’s financial disclosure, Ivanka Trump, who recently took an official post in the White House, had to disclose her assets. Ivanka Trump’s branded companies, including her clothing and jewelry lines, brought in more than $5 million in 2016 and are valued at more than $50 million. Her stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., which opened in September, brought in income of between $1 million and $5 million. (She is putting her companies in a trust that she won’t manage while her father serves as president.)

There are other tidbits, too. Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker who now serves as director of the National Economic Council, has assets worth at least $253 million, including million-dollar or more stakes in several private companies. Omarosa Manigault, the reality-TV star who took a job as a White House communications staffer, has a 33 percent stake in a trust worth between $1 million and $5 million established by her late fiancée, the Oscar-nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who died in 2012. Reed Cordish, a Trump family friend and Maryland real-estate developer who now oversees technology initiatives at the White House, reported assets of at least $197 million, including partnerships in Baltimore casinos.

So far, we’ve received less than half of the roughly 180 financial disclosures White House officials said they have processed. But the moment we get them, you will, too.

by Ariana Tobin and Derek Kravitz

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Copyright 2017 The National Memo

33 Responses to The White House Wouldn’t Post Trump Staffers’ Financial Disclosures. So We Did.

  1. “Thank you to all who participated. That concludes our filling of the Swamp for this Presidential cycle. Please ensure you have your siphons immersed….
    Ready… Set…. GO…!!”

      • If you ever see Trump in prison even after nearly 4 decades of his slime ball scamming, do let me know. I’d pay to see that.

        • Perhaps he’ll be incarcerated at a private prison, and they’ll sell tickets for viewing The Donald. That would be a sure money maker, and investors might demand that revenues be maximized. The tickets might be timed so that as many people as possible get to view the traitorous former president who has an asterisk next to his name in the list of presidents.

  2. This is a great service, and on careful study we’ll all come to a more informed opinion of hos decayed and rotten the current social order in America is. There is no need to comment in detail on other nations, especially Russia, Nigeria, China, Mexico, and elsewhere.
    For now, we should put a magnifying glass on America—a nation already recognized via an innate knowledge of the affairs of humanity, as noted first by Baha’u’llah in the mid-19th Century, was spoken of on numerous occasions by His eldest son, Abdu’l Baha, in his capacity as The Center of Baha’u’llah’s Covenant, during talks given in churches, synagogues, in private homes, at universities, and at the Baha’i School in Eliot, Maine—all within the span of over 230 days during his visit to America and Canada in 1912.
    Shoghi Effendi, the next Central Figure, after the passing of Abdu’l Baha, would continue, in hundreds of letters, continue in great detail about the state of moral decay in America. And now, the Universal House of Justice, to the Baha’is in America in its many letters, continue to discuss and point out the on-going decay and laxity of morality here, as evident in this article, as noted among our Congressmen(on the Left and on the Right), among our judges on every level, and especially on display in the character of one named Donald John Trump.

    The degree of desiccation of America’s moral character today has been shown to surpass the decay of previous decades, and the display was shown to be far worse by 2008. And now, this closer examination as noted above, shows that there has been no abatement in the trend—the decay is in an accelerated mode.

      • Do you always worship evil? Trump is one evil SOB whose brazen, belligerent, obnoxious mouth, like yours is getting on our nerves. Angry mobs are not too pretty buster.

        There is now proof that Trump has relied on Putin’s RT, The National Enquirer, Fox News (this he publicly stated in his Tweet Storm last week), Putin’s Sputnik and Goosifer FAKE news.

        You lie so much and so often you no longer possess the ability like Trump to face that there are those of us who will NEVER condone what we know is wrong.

        Trump lied about Obama wire tapping, isn’t man enough to admit he lied and even apologize for making an UNFOUNDED accusation he now claims he got from “fake news.” Funny how Trump uses that same expression Putin made so famous…”Fake News.”

        And according to Clinton Watts, a former FBI agent and Robert A. Fox Fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program, each time Putin puts out another of his fake news statements, Trump is right on it. Coincidence? Yeah right.

        Why in the hell did Nunes decide to run to King Rat Ryan with information he hadn’t shared with his investigation co-chair? You know why. Nunes is a little boy with ties to Russian business oligarchs. From On 22 March 2017, liberal blogs such as the Palmer Report and Addicting Info posted stories that said House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes had business ties to Russia, because a winery he is invested in sold wine bottles in Russia through a Russian beverage distributor.”

        You slime balls actually think we will sit back while you hand over our tax dollars to the rich bitchy boys of the GOP and then allow YOU asshats to turn our government into your private piggy banks? Think again pissant.

        • I would not be surprised if it is found that Russian ties go considerably deeper than the people who are involved with Trump. Trump is certainly working to weaken the U.S. from the top down. Scott Walker and Sam Brownback are two chief executives who have been working to weaken their states as well. When the dust finally settles, we may find more than Trump, Nunes, Flynn, Tillerson, Kushner, and Sessions who are beholden to the Russians for one reason or another.

          • I agree. If you created a hypothetical spreadsheet and plopped all of the scraps of what we know thus far, it comes right back to the Republicans since 2000.

            The 2000 Election had to be decided by the SC. The 2004 Election came down to Jeb Bush’s hanging chad state to help his brethen Republicans win.

            Then, by 2008, the power of the Koch established far right wing Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity managed to use their political party as a majority weapon with Gowdy, Cotton, Issa, Gohmert, Ryan, McConnell, Cornyn and Chaffetz all handing us a public McCarthy style witch hunt of Obama and Hillary Clinton.

            Put all of these in a spreadsheet as line items and the picture you get is Republicans who have been sabotaging what MUST ALWAYS be a bi partisan government and you can’t miss that the Republicans far right wingers hate was predicated upon Putin’s desire to weaken our government.

            The joke is the right wingers want us to ignore that they are so willing to hand over our government to Russia.
            The joke is that not even the Republicans are safe now that Clinton Watts testified before the Senate RussiaGate committee that Marco Rubio’s campaign was also part of the effort to make sure Trump won. Now, none of their elections are safe and they know it.

      • We would dearly love for you to worship at least the Golden Calf, rather than a crotch grabber, and all his racist idols who flock to this modern-day Iblis called Donald John Trump.
        And since you have some spiritual and visual astigmatism, the name is Baha’u’llah—not “Bobballo”. Such childish content with making fun of people’s name the way you do is beneath any mature adult, and a sign of cultural ignorance and bigotry. Grow up, CPANY!!

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  4. It is now readily apparent that the expectations and demands made on other elected officials do not apply to Donald and members of his team. It is also obvious that the swamp has been replaced with a sewer, apparently to Make America Great Again!

      • Where and when did I say that they broke the law? As for unmasking, I do not have a problem with our intelligence agencies investigating potential spies or, as a minimum, collaborators. If it turns out that their encouragement or deals did not constitute wrongdoing, just idiocy, opportunism, and greed, which are not necessarily crimes, they should not be locked up, just laughed at!

        • Trump has to answer ONLY one question: “WHY is HE trying to sabotage the investigations with one distraction after another?”

          An innocent man knows investigations prove innocence. A guilty man like Trump constantly fights to stop investigations he knows will prove he’s a lying, thieving Russian loving grifter.

          • I thought we were talking about the USA…no, that’s not funny at all, and neither it is to betray your own country.

          • We are talking about the USA. Unmasking Americans as spies can get them very dead. Journalists publishing fake news and a Presidents administration spying on a Presidential candidate is betraying our country and our way of government.

          • The problem is not the journalists, or the intelligence agencies that identified U.S. citizens cooperating with an adversary of the USA. The problem is Americans betraying their country to elicit the help of a traditional enemy of the USA to achieve their personal goals. Admittedly, the investigation is far from over, and conclusive evidence indicating treason has not yet been presented, but the fact that Trump encouraged the Russians to spy on us and share their findings with the world, the fact that Manafort and Carter worked for or supported Russian interests, the fact that Roger Stone knew that Podesta’s e-mail were going to be released before they were, the fact that Gen. Flynn was being paid by an adversary, in violation of military ethics, are all very disturbing circumstances that could easily reveal something that most Americans never considered. I am surprised you are OK with Trump’s association with the Russians, as his expressions of support and admiration of a man the most of the world considers a dangerous, despotic, genocidal, thug.

          • I am surprised you are buying into a made up conspiracy. There is not a shred of evidence of President Trump having any type of dealings with Russia about the Presidential campaign. President Trump has said he respects Putin as a leader. Have you ever heard don’t underestimate your enemies? If you want to talk about betraying America, how about Susan Rice unmasking Americans? What she did is what happens in a police state. If you think someone that high up in the Obama administration acted on her own, you are dreaming. Spying on a Presidential campaign is what happens in countries like Russia. What would the outrage be like if President Bush had done that to Obama during his campaign.

          • Susan Rice did not “unmask” any Americans. The intelligence agencies provided her with information that included foreigners mentioning deals made with Americans and, when pertinent, she requested the name (s) to make sure they did not pose a threat to our security. Again, the problem has nothing to do with unmasking, the problem involves Americans cutting deals and collaborating with an adversary of the USA. In the old days, those individuals would have either faced a firing squad or spent the rest of their lives in prison. Now, they are being turned into victims.

          • She released the names to the press. That is unmasking. Again you are making up that they were cutting deals with the Russians. There is not one shred of proof of that. The problem is the American government spying on a Presidential campaign to try and find something to use in the campaign. It didn’t work. You may be right about one thing, in the old days Rice would be in front of a firing squad.

          • Rice was not a spy, the people whose names she requested were. Government officials don’t face a firing squad for doing their job. Traitors do.

          • She did not release the names of any American spies, and even if she had, that does not constitute treason. It would be a violation of established privacy laws. Wait until the ongoing investigations are finished before you talk about treason.

          • You are the one that talked about a firing squad yesterday. She did release the names of members of the transition team. Releasing the names was illegal. They can investigate the Russians, but cannot release the names of Americans they had no legal right to investigate. Where are the warrants to investigate anyone on the Trump team? Have you seen her interviews on this. One day she knows nothing about it, the next day she knows all about it and tries to put her spin on it. She lied about Benghazi, not this. She said the President needed this information and requested it. Who does know how far the lies and corruption go in that administration. The Democrats are making up anything they can to deflect investigations. They are obstructing everything the President is doing and everyone he appoints to any position.

          • Warrants were not issued because there was no surveillance or wire tapping of the Trump Tower, Trump, or any of the Russian collaborators. The name (s) of some Trump associates were mentioned during conversations between Russian spies, that were intercepted by our intelligence agencies. No warrants or orders are needed for those intelligence agencies to monitor and identify potential threats against our national security. That’s their charter and that’s what they do regardless of who is in the White House. If Trump and his minions are upset because Russians mentioned their names, or because we have now learned that some were being paid by the Russians, or were poised to profit if the sanctions are lifted, that’s their problem, not Rice’s or the intelligence agencies. They were doing their job.

          • Rice was not doing her job. They can listen to the Russians, but any American name must be blacked out by law. The names were not blacked out, so Rice leaked them. Names cannot be released in any form. Haven’t you seen Rice change her story on this. One day she knew nothing at all about it, the next day she knew about it, but didn’t use anything for political use. How about Farkas admitting they spied on the Trump campaign and their biggest worry was being found out. The problem is the Obama administration using police state tactics to try to influence the outcome of the election.

      • Where to start? First, you do not in a democracy rely on the tax dollars WE the people pay to make global business deals you know will benefit your business. Nor, do you pass legislation that ALSO benefits your a huge corporate tax cut so you, your son and your piggy daughter can live like Grifters on our tax dollars while their bank accounts load up.

        Trump breaks the law every time Putin’s gang of hackers puts out another hater know? Like YOU do Commie boy. And then, Trump uses those Ruskie tweets in another of his TWEET Storms.

        When Senator Mitch your bitch McComical was asked on Meet the Press if he or the Senator found ANY Evidence that Obama or anyone in the Obama Administration hacked into Trump Tower or any of the Trump aides, McComical answered in one word, “NO!”

        Now do you want to admit you are paid by Putin? Or do you, like Trump think your bowel moverments are 14K gold and you don’t have to stop your lies and your BS?

  5. If I hadn’t lived in the state Trump screwed over so badly thanks to Governor Fat Mouth Christie and Christine Todd Whitless, both GOP governors, I wouldn’t know of the infamy of one Donald J. Trump.

    This guy has the genius mentality all criminals always do. If he smells a way to fatten his bank account that eveyone else will pay for, he’s on it like white on rice.

    If you dare to disobey this tyrant little boy whose Mommy Mary Ann spoiled him to the point his own sister and brother keep their distance, you get a taste of Trump revenge:
    A. lawsuits that bury you in legal fees
    B. Smear campaigns now aided and abetted by top Russian hackers
    C. Refuse to obey and you get his Putin style “disappearing act.”

    There are union contractors here in NJ, who would give an eye tooth for a piece of Lard Ass in Chief. They want nothing more than to do a Jimmy Hoffa on him.

    As for his piggy incestuous daughter, anyone who has ever worked for Iskanka knows she learned a lot from Daddy’s obnoxious attitude toward employees.

    Strange thing though. He has the ONLY daughter he has bedded since she was a preteen in the White House but not his foreign alien wife.

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