White House staffers have been "very blessed and very successful," Sean Spicer noted.
The White House released the financial details of some of its employees last night, painting a picture of spectacular wealth held by the Trump administration’s top staff.
At a press conference Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer described the employees as “very blessed and very successful.” And now anyone can now see just how blessed they are; ProPublica posted disclosures for 63 employees on a public Google Documents folder, accessible here. Searchable versions of them are available on Document Cloud. BuzzFeed also uploaded 50 disclosures to Document Cloud.
You can request the financial details of a total of 180 White House employees through the White House’s website, although responses are not immediate. (Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence’s personal financial details are not included in this disclosure).
Trump’s cabinet is likely the wealthiest in U.S. history—his first 17 cabinet picks boasted a combined $9.5 billion in wealth at the time they were appointed, more than the wealth of a third of American households combined.
The disclosures provide more granular data on White House staffers, including that Steve Bannon was worth as much as $40 million when he became senior counselor to president Trump.
Tweaking these numbers. Bannon earned between $1.4M and $2.5M in the last year. $545K of that came from Mercer-linked entities. https://t.co/bI5Qn2IYLh— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) April 1, 2017
And despite selling off hundreds of real estate assets, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump still hold as much as $740 million worth of real estate and business investments (read Kushner’s disclosure). Kellyanne Conway, a top advisor to the president, made $800,000 last year as the head of her consulting agency; her clients included the Tea Party Patriots and the National Rifle Association.
They’re full of curious personal details too. Sean Spicer held investments in McDonalds, Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Exxon Mobil—and seems to have taken out four mortgages in the first 60 days of 2017. His wife is the spokesperson for a national beer distribution trade group.
ProPublica editors teamed up with journalists at the Associated Press and the New York Times on Friday night to wade through bureaucratic red tape to access the documents, ProPublica deputy managing editor Eric Umansky explained on Twitter.
The White House made the staffers’ financial documents “available,” he said, but “they didn’t actually post them…they required a separate request for each disclosure.” Because the White House didn’t list the names that were available, “It was like playing transparency bingo,” he said.
So ProPublica editor Tracy Weber thought to call up editors at other outlets to pool efforts, he said. Minutes later, the New York Times and Associated Press were on board, and the three outlets began requesting documents simultaneously, Umansky said.
Obama’s White House also made employee finances accessible by request; their financial disclosures can be found here.
(Image via Flickr user Gage Skidmore)