This Is How Much Money Donald Trump Is Actually Worth

On October 19, 2015, Randall Lane, chief content officer and editor of Forbes, published a piece detailing a conversation he had with Donald Trump, regarding The Forbes 400, not long after Trump announced his intention to run for President of the United States. According to Lane, Trump said that he was "running for President. I'm worth much more than you have me down [for]. I don't look good, to be honest. I mean, I look better if I'm worth $10 billion than if I'm worth $4 billion." 

To this, Lane tried to point out that a net worth of $4 billion and one of $10 billion is so abstract to the average person as to be meaningless. Trump didn't take to this: "You're gonna look bad. And look, all I can say is Forbes is a bankrupt magazine, doesn't know what they're talking about. That's all I'm gonna say. 'Cause it's embarrassing to me."

Such dialogue highlights how obsessed Donald Trump is about how much money he has. Not that it particularly needed highlighting. Just after he launched his campaign, the Guardian quoted his pitch: "I have total net worth of $8.73bn [double what Forbes estimated]. I'm not doing that to brag. I'm doing that to show that's the kind of thinking our country needs." For Trump, a net worth is a literal translations of one's worth, and so he uses the image of how much he's worth — monetarily speaking — as the measuring rod for his worth, existentially speaking.

Trump really really cares about how much he's valued

Donald Trump's conversation with Randall Lane was comparatively civil, however, compared to his response to his 2005 biography TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald. In it, as People Magazine later quoted, Timothy O'Brien waved away Trump's estimates of his own net wroth: "[Trump's not a billionaire. His] net worth was somewhere between $150 million and $250 million." For these few pages in which O'Brien even considers Trump's net worth, Trump's wrath threw a $5 billion dollar lawsuit against O'Brien and Warner Books — $2.5 billion in compensatory damages and $2.5 billion in punitive damages. In 2009, The New York Times reported that Superior Court Judge Michele M. Fox in Camden, New Jersey, had dismissed the case, citing a lack of "clear and convincing evidence to establish malice." Well, malice on O'Brien's part anyway.

However much Trump has attempted to balloon his net worth, he also gave equal effort to minimizing it when convenient. In CNN's coverage of the trial of Trump's fixer, Michael Cohen, they note he explicitly said that Trump "inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes." 

So, Trump's profiled ego may be huge, but not enough to actually pay. But considering Trump has notoriously refused to release his tax returns, estimating how much Trump may be worth consists of a guessing game between two extremes. 

Donald Trump's worth during a pandemic of inequality

Since Trump's own statements regarding his wealth are contradictory, once must defer to sources like Forbes and Celebrity Net Worth to estimate Trump's actual monetary value. The former puts him at $2.1 billion, or the 1001st richest man in the world, while the latter pegs him at $3.1 billion ... but in a separate article, Forbes explains that originally, they'd also valued him at 3.1 billion, a month earlier, but had to revise their estimate in the wake of — what else? — COVID-19. Pretty much all of Donald Trump's assets are in real estate, and with everyone quarantining themselves, this real estate loses its value. No one needs his buildings if they aren't going anywhere, anyway. So, their values dropped, reducing his entire value by a whole billion dollars.

A cynic may suggest that the fetish Trump holds for his net worth, which, strictly speaking is different than mere money, is the reason for his constant, maddeningly insane push to reopen the country — a push that has contributed to more than a hundred thousand deaths, as well as Biden's ever-increasing lead in the polls, according to MSN.