US & Canada

White House finance disclosure: Five things we learned

Several heads of broccoli Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The importance of this vegetable to one White House staffer was revealed

Documents released by the White House have shed light on the wealth of senior members of Donald Trump's team.

The release late on Friday revealed millions of dollars in assets held by top White House aides and officials.

Neither President Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence nor cabinet appointees were part of the release.

White House officials said these were "not the current holdings that everyone has today" but what employees held before joining government. Staff are required to divest themselves of potential conflicts of interest when they enter office.

Here are five key points found in the documents.

Ivanka Trump is rich. Very rich.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's assets were estimated at up to $740m

This should not come as too big a shock.

The documents show President Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, have assets valued between $240m and $740m (£191m- £590m).

That includes a stake in Trump International Hotel, which earned Ms Trump between $1m and $5m last year.

The financial disclosure was made when Mr Kushner was appointed as a senior adviser to Mr Trump - it also details his wife's finances. She has since been appointed to the White House staff, so will have to fill in her own disclosure forms.

Mr Kushner's previous interests, which he has now divested, make for a long read. The documents show that Mr Kushner had stakes in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and 21st Century Fox businesses - the pro-Trump channel Fox News is owned by the latter.

The Broccoli and Cheetos connection

One person named in the disclosure no longer works at the White House - Boris Epshteyn, who worked in the press office and regularly appeared on TV during Mr Trump's campaign to defend him.

Born in Russia and a naturalised US citizen, Mr Epshteyn left his role last week for reasons not yet divulged.

The documents show he owned stakes in two restaurants - Quality Italian in New York City ("a modern take on the Italian-American steakhouse tradition") and Quality Meats restaurant in Miami, one of the specialities of which is broccoli and Cheetos crisps.

A free wedding dress

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Omarosa Manigault, like Mr Trump, is a one-time reality TV star

Omarosa Manigault rose to fame as a contestant on Mr Trump's reality TV show The Apprentice, and is now a senior White House communications official.

The documents show she received "a wedding dress, custom veil and accessories with an estimated value of $25,000" as part of her appearance on another reality TV show, Say Yes to the Dress.

The documents also show she is a beneficiary from a trust, worth between $1m-$5m, established by her late fiance, the Green Mile actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who died in 2012.

Seinfeld and Bannon's millions

Steve Bannon was once the head of the right-wing website Breitbart News, but is now one of Mr Trump's most important strategists.

He made his money in media financing (helping get the comedy show Seinfeld, among others, off the ground).

The White House papers show his property and other holdings could top $50m - the documents list asset values within a range, rather than giving precise figures.

Those are not the deepest pockets in the White House though - Gary Cohn, a former president of the Goldman Sachs bank who is now head of the White House National Economic Council, detailed assets worth at least $230m.

Breitbart pays its reporters very well

Mr Bannon is not the only Breitbart alumni to occupy the corridors of power - among them is Julia Hahn, who is now a White House policy strategist.

The documents show she earned $117,217 last year for her work as a senior investigative reporter for Breitbart (as well as another $74,082 for producing a show on the right-wing Ingraham Radio network).

The US Department of Labor says the average salary for reporters and correspondents last year was $49,770 - less than a third of what Julia Hahn made.

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