Franklin Graham says Donald Trump's wealth shrunk as he put America first: 'He didn't even take a salary'

The evangelist said 'Trump became president not to make money, but to do his best to preserve the great things about this nation for future generations'


                            Franklin Graham says Donald Trump's wealth shrunk as he put America first: 'He didn't even take a salary'
Franklin Graham said former president Donald Trump 'gave it all back' (Getty Images)

Former president Donald Trump’s fortune plummeted by nearly a third during his tenure at the White House and evangelist Franklin Graham has come to the defense of the Republican saying it so happened because the latter put America first and not his business interests. 

Last week, Forbes reported that Trump’s fortune fell by nearly a third -- from $3.5 billion to $2.4 billion between January 2017, the time when he took office, to this January when he left. “Every investor at some point has kicked himself for holding an asset too long. Perhaps none, however, has made such a monumental miscalculation. By refusing to divest his portfolio upon taking office, Trump bogged down his presidency with ethics issues for years, while also missing a chance to cash in on a market boom he helped propel,” the report penned by Dan Alexander said. The report also said that the tycoon-politician fell nearly 300 spots on Forbes’s billionaire rankings.

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Graham, though, feels otherwise. A vocal defender of the former president who has come out in support of him on several issues and said last December that Trump would go down in history as one of the greatest presidents, said that it was the latter’s selflessness that saw his wealth declining. 

A sign is seen near the front entrance to the Trump National Doral golf resort owned by U.S. President Donald Trump's company on October 17, 2019 in Doral, Florida. (Getty Images)

“President Trump did not even take a salary when he was serving as president—he gave it all back. So many politicians leave office with far more money than when they came into office. This report says he dropped about $1B in wealth during those 4 years while he served,” Graham tweeted in response to an article in USA TODAY



 

He also said: “Donald Trump became president not to make money, but to do his best to preserve the great things about this nation for future generations. He put America first. I’ve never seen anyone work harder. Thank you President Trump for your service to this nation.”



 

Graham, the son of the late Rev. Billy Graham who was a prominent evangelical Christian figure, had also defended Trump when the former president questioned last year's election results and has been seeking protection of election integrity.

Trump business empire hit by pandemic

In January, Bloomberg reported that Trump’s business empire was hit by the coronavirus pandemic with revenue from his hotels in Washington and Las Vegas plummeting by more than half. The former president also detailed the damage he faced in his last financial disclosure. While the revenue from Trump’s hotel in Washington went down from $40.5 million to $15.1 million a year earlier, as per his disclosures, hotel-related sales in Vegas fell from $23.3 million to $9.2 million. The Republican strongman’s Doral Golf Resort in Miami also witnessed a huge fall in revenues -- from $77 million to $44 million -- a year earlier. Even in the UK and Ireland, revenues at Trump’s golf courses went down roughly by two-thirds, the report added. 

Trump’s property has also been under the scanner for other reasons. Government watchdog groups said the former president’s business holdings saw creation of several conflicts of interest throughout the period he was in office, particularly hotels and resorts that were used to accommodate Secret Service and other government officials during presidential visits. Trump’s financial activities throughout his business career are also being investigated by prosecutors in New York.