The true net worth of Donald Trump remains unclear at this stage, but has been speculated to be much lower than the $10 billion the mogul regularly boasts of.
In 2007, Trump was deposed as a part of one of his numerous lawsuits—Trump had sued author Timothy O’Brien for being “dishonest and reckless” in writing a book that disputed his net worth.
During the two day deposition, O’Brien’s lawyers asked Trump a series of questions regarding his debts, profits, and assets, and he was caught in an astonishing number of lies. He exaggerated everything, from the extent of his debts to the percentage of his stakes in real estate projects.
This deposition is where Trump made the infamous and ridiculous claim that his net worth fluctuated based on his “feelings”: “Yes, even my own feelings, as to where the world is, where the world is going, and that can change rapidly from day to day…even my own feelings affect my value to myself,” he comically said.
The Washington Post detailed dozens of these lies found in the 170 page deposition, including falsehoods about the cost of his golf club memberships (in order to make his club appear more elite) and borrowings from his father’s estate (Trump initially claimed he had taken nothing, then amended it to $9 million).
O’Brien later commented that, “A very clear and visible side effect of my lawyers’ questioning of Trump is that he [was revealed as] a routine and habitual fabulist.”
The irony in this is that Trump has consistently accused his opponents of being liars—his nickname for Sen. Ted Cruz was “Lyin’ Ted,” and he referred to Hillary Clinton as a “pathological liar.” In fact, it is the public’s distrust of Clinton that has often fueled Trump’s support, despite the fact that Trump has lied more often and more egregiously than Clinton solely during this campaign.
Trump’s lawsuit against O’Brien wasn’t even based on a legitimate grievance. He later said that he had sued the author simply because “I saw some of the things [he] said. I said: ‘Go sue him. It will cost him a lot of money’…I didn’t read [the book], to be honest with you.”
This lawsuit and deposition exemplify what dozens of journalists have been saying about Trump all along—his statements are not based in reality, and he has a pathological habit of concocting extreme exaggerations and falsehoods to make himself look better or slander his opponents.
Only Trump's mysteriously absent tax returns can definitively point to his legitimate net worth, so the the fact that he has point blank refused to release them speaks for itself.
Banner Image Credit: Reuters