Donald Trump is blaming Stormy Daniels, Rosie O’Donnell and New York Attorney General Letitia James for helping damage his credibility and result in him once again dropping from the Forbes 400.
Forbes announced on Tuesday that the former president and his estimated $2.6 billion worth was about $300 million shy of making the cut for the annual list of the wealthiest Americans. It was explained to be a result of Trump’s net worth diminishing by approximately $600 million compared to last year, due to multiple factors.
Aside from not being included on the list in two of the past three years, the ex-president and current Republican presidential front-runner is dealing with multiple legal challenges. A civil fraud trial is underway in New York City following a $250 million lawsuit filed by James against him, his adult sons and the Trump Organization for allegedly inflating business assets for better financial outcomes.
“China owned (China Investment Corp, the Country’s Sovereign wealth Fund!), and very badly failing, Forbes ‘Magazine,’ which lost most of its relevance long ago, and which knows less about me than Stormy Daniels (who doesn’t know me at all!) or Rosie O’Donnell, took me off their Fake Forbes 400 list, just by a ‘whisker,’ even though they know that I should be high up on that now very dated and discredited ‘antique,'” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Daniels, an adult-film actress, is at the heart of the indictment issued against Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in May—the first of four indictments against the former president.
Trump is alleged to have paid Daniels $130,000 in “hush money” prior to the 2016 election to cover up a purported sexual affair. Trump has denied the payment and any romantic or sexual relationship with Daniels.
“The Forbes 400 list represents much more to Donald than just his net worth,” former Trump attorney and ally Michael Cohen told Newsweek via email. “It represents his id, ego and super ego all rolled up into one very insecure man baby.”
The post on Trump’s own social media platform was somewhat ironic considering Forbes explained that Truth Social was essentially syphoning off a chunk of his net worth due to a much smaller than expected number of users in comparison to other social media networks like X, formerly Twitter.
Truth Social and its approximate 6.5 million users equate to about 1 percent of the X user base, according to the publication. Trump’s 90 percent stake has decreased dramatically, from an estimated value of $730 million to currently less than $100 million.
The platform was founded in October 2021 and launched in February 2022 after Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter, though the app has been viewed more as a competitor to platforms like Parler and Gab rather than the traditional social media mainstays.
Other Trump business ventures, including property investment stakes in San Francisco and New York City alongside publicly traded Vornado Realty Trust, are losing value due to long-term outlooks that include rent expirations and major tenants moving to other buildings.
“[Forbes is] working with the Racist and highly incompetent, job killing Attorney General of New York, Letitia “Peekaboo” James, who has allowed Murder and Violent Crime in the State to hit epidemic levels,” Trump continued in his post. “China owned Forbes is a participant in the Election Interference Scam, and after what I have done to China, with hundreds of billions of dollars being paid to the USA, who can blame them?
“For years Forbes has attacked me with really dumb writers assigned to hit me hard, and I am now up 60 Points on the Republicans, and beating Crooked Joe by a lot. So much for Forbes!”
Patricia Crouse, political science practitioner in residence at the University of New Haven, told Newsweek via email that Trump’s entire identity is tied to his wealth “so any perception that his wealth is diminishing is a blow to his ego.”
“He has long touted his success as a businessman and his ability to make money,” Crouse said. “If this is taken away from him, I am not sure what he has left, at least from his perspective.”
Blaming James rather than his own business ventures like Truth Social is a shift of blame to protect his image, Crouse added.
“Unfortunately, I am not sure he will be able to protect his image if the fraud case ends up stripping him of his properties in New York,” she said. “That may not be something he can recover from.”
Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign via email for comment on Monday.
Update 10/09/23, 2:39 p.m. ET: This story was updated with comment from Michael Cohen.