Alleged Billionaire

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I’ve been working on a piece on the many substantial, albeit circumstantial, reasons to believe that Donald Trump is not only not worth $10 billion but quite likely not a billionaire at all. In other words, Trump’s vaunted alleged wealth seems to be a fraud. Now it seems Trump frenemy Mark Cuban has similar doubts. This from a radio transcript courtesy of Buzzfeed ….

“I think he’s good at real estate; I do give him a lot of credit there. I think he’s good at branding real estate,” he said. “I don’t think he’s very good at brands for non–real estate products. And, to me, it’s more a reflection of desperation.

“So when you’re putting your name on steaks, and you’re putting your name on water, you’re putting your name on playing cards, you’re putting your name on all this nonsense, right? You’re not gonna make big bucks, no matter what. It’s not like Trump Steaks were gonna make him $100 million. It’s not like it was gonna make him $5 million.”

“I asked, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ Are you that desperate for money?’ Seriously,” Cuban said, saying Trump couldn’t say no if someone was going to write him a check.

“It’s not even close, I do,” Cuban said. “Before all the Trumpians jump on me on who has more money, the reason I know is when you file your federal election campaign reports, you have to list all your cash and liquid securities and bonds. You have to list them one by one. So we know without any question that as of May 27, Donald doesn’t have more than $165 million in cash and securities and bonds.

“And trust me, I’ve got a lot of more than that in cash, securities, and bonds,” he continued. “And so you know, I’m willing to bet dimes against dollars that that’s pretty much what he’s got.”

I have a number of other reasons for believing Trump’s alleged wealth is basically a fraud – not my own reporting but piecing together various details from the reporting of others and things that have happened during this campaign. But one point Cuban references is key. Trump hasn’t built a high-rise building in decades. He moved into licensing as his main business about fifteen or twenty years ago. If you’re worth $10 billion do you waste time on Trump Steaks? Trump University? Of course not. That speaks to someone who’s fairly strapped and needs every new revenue stream he can get. Still fabulously rich by mortal standards. But not running a thriving company worth $10 billion.

Stay Tuned.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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