Trump rises 51 spots on Forbes billionaires list—but his net worth stays flat at $3.1B

President Donald Trump speaks during CPAC 2019 on March 2, 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Katopodis Tasos | Getty Images

President Donald Trump has climbed 51 positions in the Forbes annual billionaire ranking, the magazine reported Tuesday, but it was not because his net worth increased.

Trump’s ranking jumped to 715 from 766 on this year’s list, mainly due to the drop in wealth of other billionaires, Forbes said. The president’s shareholders’ equity was stable at $ 3.1 billion. The number remains below his pre-presidential fortune of $ 4.5 billion in 2015.

As president, Trump continues to maintain his portfolio of hotels, golf courses and other properties, despite the backlash from critics who argue that his dealings in the private sector are a conflict of interest. Although the president handed over control of the Trump Organization to his sons Eric and Donald Jr. after he took office, he did not get rid of his commercial empire.

Trump’s properties had mixed financial success last year. Forbes reported that its property at Trump Tower and 6 East 57th St. in New York lost a combined value of $ 64 million last year. Meanwhile, his golf resort in Miami, Florida, lost $ 26 million in value. These losses were mitigated by a $ 160 million gain in Trump’s 30% stake in two skyscrapers, at 1290 Avenue of the Americas in New York and at 555 California St. in San Francisco.

Trump invoked his landlord status by criticizing political opponents. In January, after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that he was considering running for president as an independent in 2020, Trump tweeted: “I just hope that Starbucks is still paying me its rent on the Trump Tower!”

Trump continues to refuse to publicly disclose his tax returns, which would reveal details about the income from his commercial interests.

However, the Democrats’ campaign to get tax returns took on new life last week after freshmen Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York questioned Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen on the documents. After Cohen’s hearing, the House Forms and Means Committee is preparing a formal order to the IRS for Trump’s tax returns, according to an NBC report.

The top three richest people in the world, according to the Forbes ranking, are Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (net worth of $ 131 billion), Microsoft founder Bill Gates (US $ 96.5 billion) and investor Warren Buffett (US $ 82.5 billion). Newly elected Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, heir to the Hyatt Hotels chain, defeated Trump this year as the richest elected official, with a net worth of $ 3.2 billion.

Paula Fonseca