With every day that passes, a new revelation shows that Donald Trump is using every trick imaginable in his presidential arsenal to enrich himself at expense of taxpayers.
Last week, the Office of Government Ethics released the president’s financial forms, revealing that Trump is profiting BIGLY from his weekly golfing trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Now, The Washington Post reports another shameless ploy from the money-grabber-in-chief.
The post revealed that Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is paid directly to private landlords.
One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.
Trump once called Starrett City “one of the best investments I ever made,” but it was his father who was an investor in its construction, according to a City representative. Trump and his siblings inherited their shares in the complex from their father Fred Trump.
“Upon Fred Trump’s death, his four children inherited his interests,” Starrett City Associates spokesman Bob Liff said in a statement to the Post.
The complex contains 46 buildings and more than 5,800 units and is home to nearly 15,000 people. Since May 2013, the housing complex has received $490 million in rent subsidies.
That subsidy generates steady income for Trump. Although it represents a small portion of his overall wealth, it is one of the few examples of money the president derives directly from the federal government he oversees.
Trump has repeatedly faced scrutiny for his potential conflicts of interest. He has refused to divest himself of his assets, and while his two elder sons manage his business, Trump retains ownership of the company.
“It’s a conflict, and it’s why everyone has pushed Trump to not only step away from his business interests but to divest them,” said Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, an independent watchdog organization.
Trump’s business empire intersects with government in countless ways, from taxation to permitting to the issuing of patents, but the housing subsidy is one of the clearest examples of the conflicts experts have predicted. It’s a stark illustration of how his financial interests can directly rise or fall on the policies of his administration.