President Donald Trump should have reported a reimbursement to his attorney Michael Cohen for a payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels in his 2017 public financial disclosure, the director of the government’s ethics office said.
The Office of Government Ethics concluded that “the payment made to Mr. Cohen is required to be reported as a liability,” the agency’s acting director David Apol said in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani disclosed recently that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. The money was intended to keep her from discussing an alleged extramarital affair with Trump prior to the 2016 election. Trump has denied any relationship with Daniels.
Apol’s agency released Trump’s 2018 disclosure on Wednesday, showing the president had at least $511 million of income in 2017. Under ethics rules, officials report the value of their assets and the amount of their income in broad ranges.
In last year’s disclosure, Trump reported making at least $528.9 million — a number that appears to mix total revenue from his businesses with income — from January 2016 through April 15, 2017.
Trump’s latest disclosure reveals that revenue at his hotel in the capital, the Trump International Hotel Washington DC, was $40.4 million in 2017. In last year’s disclosure Trump reported revenue of $19.7 million for the hotel, which opened in September 2016.
He reported $25.1 million in resort revenue in 2017 from his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where the president spends many weekends during the winter months. His nearby golf course in West Palm Beach had revenue of $12.8 million, but that was dwarfed by Trump National Doral in Miami, which had revenue of $74.7 million.
His course in Bedminster, New Jersey, where Trump spends weekends during the summer months, had revenue of $15.1 million. His course in Turnberry, Scotland, had revenue of $20.3 million.
Melania Trump, the president’s wife, had a new income stream last year. She disclosed up to $1 million in royalties from Getty Images Inc. for use of photos.
For his golf and some hotel properties, Trump disclosed revenue rather than income, as is requested in the disclosure form. It isn’t clear whether some of those assets are profitable, or how much personal income Trump derived from them.