Trump's Hollywood Income Collapsed as He Prepared to Leave the Oval Office

Donald Trump in 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York'.
Disney/Everett Collection

Donald Trump in 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York'.

Income from 'The Apprentice' and residuals from films like 'Home Alone 2' and 'The Little Rascals' fell significantly during his final year in office.

Former President Donald Trump, who was a well-established media and entertainment personality for decades before winning the 2016 presidential election, saw his Hollywood income fall dramatically during his final year in office.

That is, according to Trump's financial disclosure forms, which he filed to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Jan. 15, just a few days before he left office bound for his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach (and which he values at over $50 million).

Throughout his presidency, Trump has continued to benefit financially from his Hollywood connections, including pensions from the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (each secured before those unions merged in 2012), residual payments from a number of TV shows, films like The Little Rascals (in which Trump played "Waldo's Dad"), Home Alone 2, and perhaps most significantly, payments related to the NBC reality show The Apprentice.

In fact, during every year of his presidency, Trump received a seven-figure payment from Trump Productions (his production company that had a 50 percent ownership stake in the program) — that is, until last year.

Trump's Apprentice payments peaked in 2018 when he received more than $2 million, and in 2019 fell to just over $1.6 million. Last year, however, the payments fell to just $275,000, according to the latest disclosure forms. While the filing does not detail why the Trump Productions income fell by so much, it is likely tied to syndication rights and reruns for the reality show.

In addition, Trump's residual payments for his other film and TV appearances, while always small, fell even further. His Little Rascals residual fee, which earned him as much as $1,000 in 2019, fell below $200 in 2020. Residuals from Warner Bros. and Entertainment Partners also fell into the lowest income category, which covers payments of between $0.01 and $200.

Trump's pensions from SAG ($84,292) and AFTRA ($9,451) each rose slightly in 2020. Trump began participating in the SAG plan in 1992, when he appeared in Home Alone 2, and in the AFTRA plan in 1989, when he appeared in the flop Ghosts Can't Do It (earning himself a Razzie Award in addition to his AFTRA pension).

While Trump is facing potential expulsion from SAG, it would likely not impact his pension.

His media revenue collapse even extends to his books. In his first year in office, he had two books earn him as much as $1 million in income: The Art of the Deal and Time to Get Tough. Another book, Crippled America, earned him between $1 million and $5 million. During his final year in office, however, while The Art of the Deal still generated between $100,000 and $1 million in income, none of his other 14 books generated any meaningful income.

His final disclosure filing did include a few new additions, however: Gifts Trump received while in office. They include a championship belt from the MAGA UFC fighter Colby Covington, valued at $650, a bronze bust of Mount Rushmore (with Trump's face added to it) from South Dakota's Gov. Kristi Noem, valued at $1,100, and a Mac Pro computer (the first one assembled in Austin, Texas) gifted to Trump by Apple CEO Tim Cook, valued at $5,999.