The Big Cheat
How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family
David Cay Johnston
Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter and dean of Trumpologists David Cay Johnston reveals years of eye-popping financial misdeeds by Donald Trump and his family.
While the world watched Donald Trump’s presidency in horror or delight, few noticed that his lifelong grifting quietly continued. Less than forty minutes after taking the oath of office, Trump began turning the White House into a money machine for himself, his family, and his courtiers.
More than $1.7 billion flowed into Donald Trump’s bank accounts during his four years as president. Foreign governments rented out whole floors of his hotel five blocks from the White House while lobbyists conducted business in the hotel’s restaurants. Payday lenders and other trade groups moved their annual conventions to Trump golf resorts. And individual favor seekers joined his private Mar-a-Lago club with its $200,000 admission fee in hopes of getting a few minutes with the President. Despite earning more than $1 million every day he was in office, Trump left the White House as he arrived—hard up for cash. More than $400 million in debt comes due by 2024, and Trump still lacks the resources to pay it back.
The Big Cheat takes you on a guided tour of how money flowed in and out of Trump’s hundreds of enterprises, showing in simple terms how his family and courtiers used his presidency to enrich themselves, even putting national security at risk. Johnston details the four most recent years of the corruption that has defined the Trump family since 1885 and reveals the costs of Trump’s extravagant lifestyle for American taxpayers.