Updated Jan 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Report: Trump received at least $7.8M in foreign payments during presidency

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

A report from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee released Thursday accused former President Trump of receiving at least $7.8 million in foreign payments to his properties during his presidency.

Why it matters: It’s the most solid figure to date on the scope and scale of Trump’s private windfall from foreign sources, which Democrats allege is a clear-cut violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

Driving the news: The 156-page report titled “White House for Sale: How Princes, Prime Ministers, and Premiers Paid Off President Trump” draws on documents from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, obtained after years of high-profile court battles.

  • It lays out foreign payments to four Trump properties, two in New York, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Las Vegas, from at least 20 foreign governments or government-owned entities, including China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Kosovo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • “President Trump never sought or received Congress's approval to keep these foreign payments, as the Constitution requires,” the report says, also drawing links between the payments and Trump's policy decisions.
  • A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

By the numbers: By far the largest chunk of the $7.8 million came from China, which spent nearly $5.6 million at Trump Tower in New York and Trump International Hotels in Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas. (The D.C. hotel became the Waldorf Astoria in 2022.)

  • Another $615,000 came from Saudi Arabia, $466,000 from Qatar, $303,000 from Kuwait, $283,000 from India, $249,000 from Malaysia, $155,000 from Afghanistan, $75,000 from the Philippines and $65,000 from the UAE.

The other side: "It's beyond parody that Democrats continue their obsession with former President Trump," Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said in a statement.

  • "Former President Trump has legitimate businesses but the Bidens do not," he alleged.
  • "The Bidens and their associates made over $24 million by cashing in on the Biden name in China, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Romania. No goods or services were provided other than access."

The big picture: The $7.8 million figure, the report says, is based on a "small slice" of the Mazars documents and is "likely only a small fraction of the total amount of such payments he received during his presidency."

  • Comer released Mazars from its obligation to turn over the documents after taking power in January. The four properties comprise just 1% of the businesses Trump owned when he was president, the report says.
  • "The Committee did not receive from Mazars any documents regarding at least 80% of Donald Trump's business entities," the report says. "For many other entities, Mazars produced only a single document."
  • But, it adds, "this figure in itself is a scandal and a decisive spur to action."

What we're watching: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), ranking member of the committee, previewed plans for a package of legislative reforms to "ensure that all occupants of the Oval Office abide by the Constitution's unequivocal language commanding loyalty to the interests of the American people."

Editor's note: This story was corrected in one instance to reflect the report stated $7.8 million (not $7.8 billion) came from foreign sources, and that China spent nearly $5.6 million (not $5.6 billion) at various Trump businesses.

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