Trump has funneled tens of millions of dollars to himself through the government by spending a significant amount of time in office at his own business properties (over 200 days and counting), but he has still managed to lose a great deal of money.
In addition to spending time at his own properties, Trump has also benefited from numerous conservative interest groups and lobbyists holding events at his properties without him, but Forbes estimates that Trump has somehow lost about a $1.4 billion over the past two years.
Forbes attributed the decline of Trump's fortune to three main factors: e-commerce eating into the value of Trump's real estate holdings, the intrusion of heightened security at Trump's resorts, and Trump's own over-reporting of the size of his penthouse. [...]
Revenue from Trump-branded ties, whiskies, MAGA hats and other merchandise has plummeted to just $3 million from $23 million in 2015. “He has significantly tarnished the brand,” licensing expert Jeff Lotman told Forbes.
According to Forbes, revenue at Trump's golf clubs has dropped by 9 percent, the value of his residential properties has dropped by 33 percent, and his hotels have been operating at a loss of about $30 million. Trump's net worth has dropped from $4.5 billion to $3.1 billion.
Now, some may look at this and say running for and becoming president has been bad for Trump's finances, but I look at this a different way.
If Trump has lost this much money while funneling millions to himself by visiting his properties every weekend where the Secret Service is forced to rent Trump's own golf carts to protect him, where would he be without that?
Given everything we now know about the Trump family's nearly century-long history of tax fraud, and given what we know about the Trump family's ties to foreign banks and Russian financiers, it seems reasonable to think Trump would have declared bankruptcy recently or soon would if he had not ran for office.
In other words, Trump may have lost money since running for office, but that doesn't necessarily mean he wouldn't have lost even more money if he didn't run for office.