Supporters of President Donald Trump contended during the Republican National Convention this week the former businessman and reality television star has truly been seeking to serve the American people since taking office.
It has come at a financial cost to him.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden, now the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, took in $15.6 million in his first two years after leaving office, according to The Wall Street Journal.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump pledged that he would not accept his $400,000-per-year salary if he were to be elected president.
However, because he is required by law to be paid, the president has been donating his salary each quarter to various government agencies and using it as a way to highlight initiatives he supports.
For example, for the first two quarters of 2020, he wrote $100,000 checks to the Department of Health and Human Services to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Not only has Trump not taken a salary, but Bloomberg reported his “net worth has declined $300 million in the past year to $2.7 billion, erasing 10% of his fortune since he took office” in 2017.
“The drop marked the sharpest decline since Bloomberg began tracking his fortune in 2015. It started with a decrease in income across the Trump Organization’s portfolio of office buildings and was compounded by the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on property markets,” according to the news outlet.
Bloomberg noted some of Trump’s highest money-generating properties are in Manhattan, which was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, bright spots in his financial picture include “branding and licensing businesses” which continued “to generate tens of millions dollars last year,” the outlet added.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the year Biden left office in 2017, he earned more than $11 million, primarily through speaking fees and payments for books that he and his wife Dr. Jill Biden wrote.
The Bidens currently have three homes. They own a 7,000-square-foot lakeside house in Wilmington, Delaware, and a 4,800-square-foot house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. They also rent a 12,000-square-foot Georgian-style residence in McLean, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C., according to The Washington Post.
The latter, which the couple has rented since 2017, “has five bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, marble fireplaces, a gym and a sauna,” The Post reported.
“Surrounded by Washington elite and sitting high above the Potomac River, there is an undeniable grandeur in the design of this home,” said an agent describing the home when it went on the market in 2015.
“This property makes an imposing statement with parking for over 20 cars and creates a perfect setting for the most lavish of events.”
Once the poorest senator, ‘Middle Class Joe’ Biden has reaped millions in income since leaving the vice presidency https://t.co/COXgW52Oio
— Matthew Continetti (@continetti) June 25, 2019
So much for “Middle Class Joe.”
Biden learned from the best. Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle took in over $20 million from the time the couple arrived in Washington until they left the White House in early 2017, according to Forbes.
The Clintons, of course, turned trading off their government service into an art form, amassing $230 million from 2001 until 2015.
Biden’s son Hunter has also turned in some impressive numbers by allegedly profiting off his father’s position in government.
If the Trump children did what he has done, they would surely be the subject of multiple congressional inquiries and likely criminal investigations by the Department of Justice.
Shortly after Obama named Joe Biden his point man on U.S. dealings with the Ukraine and China, Hunter Biden was hired to a lucrative position on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings.
Hunter Biden took the position in April 2014, leaving the board in April 2019, the same month that his father announced his presidential bid.
He reportedly was paid at least $50,000 a month and possibly upward of $83,000 a month during his time on the board.
Hunter Biden conceded in an interview with ABC News last October he exercised “poor judgment” in taking the position and probably would not have been offered it if his last name wasn’t Biden.
Additionally, Hunter Biden’s D.C.-based Rosemont Seneca Partners investment and advisory firm entered into a major deal primarily with Chinese investors valued at $1.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014.
The deal went down not long after Hunter Biden accompanied his father on an official state visit to China in December 2013.
In contrast to Hunter Biden, first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner — far from profiting from President Trump’s position — have been working alongside him in the White House, for free.
President Trump has truly been engaged in government service during these last three and a half years, while Biden leveraged his nearly five decades in Washington to enrich himself.
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