Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has, for most of his life, exaggerated his claimed wealth, and a new investigative report from The New York Times shows Trump awash in massive debt — more than double what he claimed he and his companies owed in the financial report he filed as a requirement for running for the Presidency.
How much debt? At least more than $2 billion in just one partnership owed to a string of lenders that includes The Bank of China and Goldman Sachs.
The Times reports Trump is part owner of an office building on Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan that has around $950 million in debt and is involved, literally, in hundreds of LLCs and other companies with billions more in massive loans.
Trump claims his personal wealth exceeds $10 billion. Financial firms like Forbes finds he is worth less than half of that claim and the Times investigation suggests that Trump, for all his bravado and high-living lifestyle, is virtually broke.
Campaign insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that Trump, who promised to “self-fund” his run for the Presidency without taking any money from special interest groups and others, is now begging for donations from those very groups because he can no longer pay his campaign bills on his own.
Not paying bills is part of Trump’s style. He and his companies are being sued by more than 3,500 small business operators in New York alone because of unpaid bills on projects and contracts.
Political insiders suggest his run for President is, at best, a last-chance effort to avoid another bankruptcy. He has already been part of at least four bankrupt filings by his companies and he had to sell a yacht, planes and other things to avoid personal bankruptcy when his real estate and casino empire ran out of money several years ago.
If he were become President, The Times reports, could use the power of the office to help get him out of his current financial bind:
As president, Mr. Trump would have substantial sway over monetary and tax policy, as well as the power to make appointments that would directly affect his own financial empire. He would also wield influence over legislative issues that could have a significant impact on his net worth, and would have official dealings with countries in which he has business interests.
Trump’s complex financial dealings leave an increasing number of banks unwilling to lend him money and those who do so charge higher than normal interest rates.
In his 104-page federal financial disclosure form, Trump claimed his businesses owed $315 million to a small group of lenders. His form, however, failed to list debts of at least $650 million to a long list of creditors and partnerships in three partnerships that owe an additional $2 billion.
“I am the king of debt,” he once claimed in an interview with CNN. “I love debt.”
That love of debt led to his four business bankruptcies and many of the loans that were supposed to fund those operations were guaranteed by him personally, which led to him selling yachts, planes and other items and agreeing, for a while, to live on a court-ordered “allowance.”
Trump officials argue that he did not have to list all of his debts because of the vagueness of the federal financial disclosure forms. Federal officials admit that the form is based on information provided by candidates who have nowhere the complex financial dealings of someone like Trump and they admit the form allows him to hide liabilities.
Trump claims he has “no personal debt” and very little business obligations.
More trouble, however, looms. Trump claims his run for President has helped his business empire. More factual reports, however, show drops in attendance and bookings at his hotels and golf resorts and a sharp hike in empty offices without leases in his buildings.
His winery loses money. His mortgage company failed. His “university” is closed and under investigation. A controversial golf resort in Scotland is hemorrhaging cash and promised additions are on hold.
“Trump has a long and growing list of business failures,” says one banker whose company avoids doing business with him.
As often occurs when his claims are checked against the facts, Trump’s statements come up short on truth, along with his blustering claims of business acumen and wealth.
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