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Trump gets kicked off Forbes 400 list of richest Americans

<i>Seth Wenig/Pool/Getty Images</i><br/>Former President Donald Trump dropped off The Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.
Seth Wenig/Pool/Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump dropped off The Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.

By Matt Egan

New York (CNN Business) — As Donald Trump scrambles to defend his business empire in court, the former president has suffered another blow: dropping off The Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.

Trump’s net worth tumbled by 19%, or $600 million, to an estimated $2.6 billion total. That left him $300 million shy of the Forbes cutoff when the magazine unveiled the list Tuesday.

That means that for the second time in three years, Trump did not make the cut for the annual rankings that he’s long seemed obsessed with and has even been accused of conning his way onto in the past.

Unlike the steady or growing fortunes of Forbes 400 leaders Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Larry Ellison, Trump’s net worth took a double-digit hit. This comes as he faces mounting legal bills to fight civil and criminal charges, including an ongoing civil fraud trial in New York and multiple trials scheduled for next year.

The drop in Trump’s net worth was driven by two central factors: Both his social media platform and office buildings have lost value, according to Forbes.

Trump launched Truth Social in February 2022, envisioning it as a credible threat to Facebook and Twitter.

But Truth Social has yet to take off. In the United States, Truth Social had about 738,000 monthly active users of its iOS and Android apps in August, down from almost 1.3 million in December, according to Similarweb. That’s less than 1% of the iOS and Android users that used X (formerly known as Twitter).

That’s why Forbes marked down the estimated value of Trump’s 90% stake in Truth Social from $730 million a year ago to less than $100 million now.

Truth Social’s plan to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through a merger with a blank-check firm has been stalled by legal and regulatory scrutiny for two years.

Trump’s real estate empire — which a New York judge found the former president and his adult sons inflated the value of — is also getting squeezed.

Empty office buildings have caused financial stress in the commercial real estate market. Remote work could wipe out $800 billion from office values around the world, according to estimates from the McKinsey Global Institute.

San Francisco, where Trump has real estate holdings, has been especially hit hard by the commercial real estate turmoil. A series of chains have recently left San Francisco, including Whole Foods, Target, Nordstrom and most recently Starbucks.

Forbes estimates the value of Trump’s stake in 555 California Street, a 52-story skyscraper formerly known as Bank of America Center, has dropped by 30%.

Manhattan also faces a glut of office space as bosses struggle to lure workers back to the office. Trump’s stake in 1290 Avenue of the Americas, a midtown Manhattan office building, has lost roughly $60 million in value, according to Forbes.

The financial news isn’t all bad for Trump though.

His golf courses are performing well. And the magazine estimates Trump’s most valuable asset — his cash — stands at $426 million after selling books, giving speeches and completing a series of deals in recent years.

Trump was previously booted from The Forbes 400 in 2021 and in 1990 when he faced severe financial stress. Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy in 1991, followed by Trump Castle Associates the following year.

It’s worth noting annual rankings of billionaires are nowhere near an exact science. They rely on estimates and projections.

As Forbes notes, Trump “lied” to the magazine in a successful effort to make the Forbes 400.

“He conned his way into sharing a spot on the inaugural list in 1982 with his father, Fred Trump, by convincing a reporter that he held a larger percentage of Fred’s fortune than he actually did,” Forbes wrote.

A former Forbes reporter alleged in 2018 that, in the 1980s, Trump pretended to be a Trump Organization executive named John Barron, speaking on Trump’s behalf to lie about his wealth.

“He figured out what he had to do in order to deceive me and get onto that list. And he did it very well,” Jonathan Greenberg, the former Forbes reporter, previously told CNN.

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