Apr 3, 2017

Trump can profit from his businesses without disclosure

Evan Vucci / AP

ProPublica has a look at a previously unreported clause of the document that President Trump used to place his sprawling business empire into a trust upon assuming the presidency. It reads:

The Trustees shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request, as the Trustees deem necessary for his maintenance, support, or uninsured medical expenses, or as the Trustees otherwise deem appropriate.

Why it matters: This clause allows Trump to take profits from the trust without any form of disclosure, as both the trust and the Trump Organization are privately held entities.

The tax return angle: The only definite way to know if Trump does take profits would be the release of his tax returns, since income from a trust wouldn't necessarily have to be included on POTUS' next federal financial disclosure. A senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center told ProPublica that "for tax purposes, it's as if the trust doesn't exist at all."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,513,358 — Total deaths: 88,415 — Total recoveries: 329,329Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 430,376 — Total deaths: 14,739 — Total recoveries: 23,707Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

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New York City's skyline on a smoggy day in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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