Forbes Editor Explains How Trump Inflates His Wealth, Why He Is Hiding His Tax Returns 

Randall Lane: “The Income Taxes Are Going To Tell You What Tax Rate He Pays, That Is Clearly What He Is Trying To Hide”

From the September 28 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

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JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): There's a suggestion he's not a billionaire, and we hear it all the time around New York. Other billionaires, other multi-millionaires, they'll say “Trump's worth maybe $200 million.” Who is right?

RANDALL LANE: Neither is right. Trump says he's worth more than $10 billion. He's not even worth close to $10 billion. He's not worth $200 million -- he's worth $3.7 billion, based on our findings. We've been spending most of the last year. We've been giving an audit. We have 35 years -- we've been tracking Trump's wealth since the Forbes 400 started -- so, we have years and years, decades and decades. There's no assets that are hiding that we don't know about. We've been tracking him since before anybody knew who he was. He's worth a lot less than he says, he's worth a lot less than last year. He's down $800 million, but he is a billionaire. He's worth again, we think, $3.7 billion.


LANE: He has tons of properties. He has licensing. It's a lot of income, but he's not an income guy. That's why this whole part about his income taxes -- they're not going to tell you how rich he is. The income taxes are going to tell you what tax rate he pays, and that is clearly what he is trying to hide. But, we have every single asset and if you look at his -- we've compared his FEC documents to again, 35 years of records. We have a very good fix on every asset he has, how much debt is on each asset, what the partners are.


MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): Any response from the Trump campaign on this?

LANE: As always, listen, we have a rule at Forbes, it's called “the Trump Rule.” Whatever Donald Trump tells us, we generally think he's worth about a third of that. That's been true for about 30 years. And, they still are saying he's worth more than $10 billion. There is no way he gets towards $10 billion. It's impossible. He -- there's an idea in Trump Land that his brand is worth billions of dollars magically, but if you look at what he's put his name on over the years -- Trump steaks, Trump water, Trump vodka -- it never materializes in anything. So, there's no way you can magically conjure billions of dollars in theoretical value. If he was that good of a businessman, he wouldn't be leaving that much money on the table that he's got billions of dollars in profit he could have made.


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