The claim: Joe Biden lives in a large estate bought on a senator's salary
Since before the 2016 election, critics have asked to see President Donald Trump's tax returns to no avail. Several weeks ago, the New York Times reported Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, heightening critics' suspicions about Trump's finances and financial dealings. Now, Eric Trump is using an aerial photo of Democratic nominee Joe Biden's former home to raise questions about Biden's finances.
However, Eric Trump's claim is false: Biden no longer owns that home and Biden has not made a senator's salary in more than a decade.
USA TODAY has reached out to Eric Trump and the Trump Organization for comment.
Biden no longer owns the house
The pictured home is a 5-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house at 6 Montchan Drive in Wilmington, Del. Redfin estimates the 10,012-ft home is worth $1,643,478.
Biden bought the former Dupont mansion for $185,000 in the mid-1970s after learning it was set for demolition. The home was abandoned and needed repairs. The Wall Street Journal described the DuPont purchase as one of Biden’s many strained financial ventures.
He nicknamed the house “The Station” and used it as his headquarters during his 1988 presidential campaign. He lived in the home for two decades until he sold it to MBNA vice chairman John. R. Cochran III for $1.2 million in February 1996.
Biden's finances through the years
The son of a Scranton, Pa., car salesman, Biden is no stranger to financial challenges. Biden has acknowledged his modest upbringing throughout his political career, referring to himself as “Middle Class Joe” and “one of the poorest members of Congress,”
In 2009, when he was serving as vice president, CBS described Biden as the “least wealthy administration figure” with an estimated net worth of $27,012.
Since ending his tenure as vice president, Biden and his wife earned more than $15 million dollars from public speaking, teaching and writing. Biden has not served in Congress as a senator since becoming vice president in 2009.
In 2019, Forbes estimated Biden and his wife Jill were worth $9 million.
Biden faced some financial challenges during his vice presidency. In January 2016, Biden made headlines when he recalled how President Barack Obama had once offered his family financial support. Biden had considered selling his house to support his son’s family after his oldest son Beau Biden suffered a stroke, threatening his position as Delaware’s attorney general.
"He said, 'I'll give you the money. Whatever you need, I'll give you the money. Don't, Joe – promise me. Promise me.' I said, 'I don't think we're going to have to anyway.' He said, 'promise me,'" Biden said recounting the exchange with Obama during an interview with CNN.
Eric Trump’s claim called out online
Actually, that's not Biden's house. It's a money pit he bought in 1975 for $185,000, spent 21 years renovating and sold in 1996 for $1.2 million. I wrote about it last time he ran 12 years ago: https://t.co/KySe0aAERX https://t.co/1dzj2v0cLV
— Mike McIntire (@mmcintire) October 17, 2020
“Actually, that's not Biden's house. It's a money pit he bought in 1975 for $185,000, spent 21 years renovating and sold in 1996 for $1.2 million. I wrote about it last time he ran 12 years ago,” tweeted New York Times reporter Mike McIntire.
Biden campaign spokesperson Bill Russo addressed the false statement on Twitter.
“Lol, this isn't Biden's house and he hasn't been a senator in 12 years?” Russo tweeted Oct. 17.
Our rating: False
Former Vice President Biden no longer lives in the home pictured in Eric Trump's social media posts. Biden owned and renovated the former DuPont mansion for two decades before selling it for a profit in 1996. He has not earned a senator's salary since 2009. We rate this claim FALSE because it is not supported by out research.
Our fact-check sources:
The New York Times, Sept. 27, "LONG-CONCEALED RECORDS SHOW TRUMP’S CHRONIC LOSSES AND YEARS OF TAX AVOIDANCE"
Redfin, accessed Oct. 19, 6 Montchan Dr Wilmington DE 19807
Town & Country, Sept. 29, "All of Joe Biden's Homes, In Photos"
The New York Times, Oct. 1, 2008, "An Everyman on the Trail, With Perks at Home"
Forbes, Aug. 14, 2009, "The Net Worth Of Every 2020 Presidential Candidate"
CNN, Jan. 12, 2016, "Biden says Obama offered financial help amid son's illness"
Snopes, Oct. 17, "Is This a Photograph of Joe Biden’s House?"
Associated Press, Oct. 18, Property that false post calls ‘Biden’s house’ was sold by him in 1996
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Biden no longer owns house Eric Trump highlighted online