Everybody Should Have the Opportunity to be a National Security Threat to the United States

Trump is broke

Via The New York Times (9/27/20)

Even if you have been living under a rock lately, chances are still pretty good that you’ve already heard about the big news surrounding President Trump’s personal finances — including $421 million in debts (which might be a low estimate) and the $750 that Trump paid in federal income taxes in recent years.

The New York Times dropped a bombshell of a story on Sunday that not only shows that Trump pays less in taxes than the average American family — it also completely demolishes his image/brand of being an ultra-successful businessman and calls into serious question his true motive for running for President in 2016 (and for re-election in 2020). We’d encourage you to read the Times story yourself, or at least take a look at this shorter breakdown of the Times’ key findings.

As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, these new revelations indicate that Trump’s political ambitions were initially just a branding exercise:

[Trump’s] situation was different in 2015. He was no longer riding high financially or otherwise. He was seen less as a business titan and A-list celebrity — and much more as a a cultural curiosity, a sort of has-been throwback to the 1980s. Flirting with a run for president wasn’t enough; he needed to go further this time as a way to restart a flagging brand…

Running for president was one of the last cards Trump had to play. His candidacy was borne of desperation, not of a desire to serve. Which we kind of always knew.

But with the Times’ tax revelations, we can now say so definitively. [Pols emphasis]

Via Bloomberg News (9/28/20)

Trump probably didn’t expect to make it to the White House when he kicked off his Presidential bid in 2015. But even getting close to winning made him a serious national security threat. As Bloomberg News explains, Trump might actually be facing debts of somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.1 BILLION, which would make him an easy mark for foreign governments to prey upon:

Trump has been bloviating about being worth $10 billion ever since he entered the 2016 presidential race, a figure that simply isn’t true. He’s worth a fraction of that amount, and the larger his indebtedness becomes, the more strain it puts on his assets. The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a particularly brutal toll on the sectors in which the Trump Organization operates — real estate, travel and leisure. If Trump is unable to meet his debt payments, he’s either going to have to sell assets or get bailed out by a friend with funds. Trump has never liked to sell anything, even when it’s hemorrhaging money. So if he’s tempted to save himself by getting a handout, that makes him a mark.

If Trump was still just a reality TV oddity, that wouldn’t be earthshaking. But he’s president, and the trade-offs someone like him would be willing to make to save his face and his wallet taint every public policy decision he makes – including issues around national security.

Trump’s persistent refusal to release his tax returns remained a big issue even after Election Day in 2016. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) addressed the issue with this ridiculous comment in early 2017 that has certainly not aged well:

GARDNER: The issue of the tax returns, I think everybody should should have the opportunity to, to release their tax returns. [Pols emphasis] And that’s, uh people in the state legislature and people running for Congress. I’ve done that, others have, and I think everyone should. So I think I agree with you there. It shouldn’t just be about President Trump, it ought to be about President Obama, President Bush it ought to be about whoever is running for president, Hillary Clinton, you name it, and they should have done that. So…

Gardner is undoubtedly going to get plenty of opportunities to talk about Trump’s finances in the coming weeks, and he’ll need a better answer than this. Because as Gardner himself said in June 2019, “I think the President is going to continue to do what the President is going to continue to do.” 

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    In 1904, the Bavarians were dead right in kicking Friedrich Trumps’ sorry ass out of town and stripping him of his citizenship, I just wish we didn’t have to be on the historical receiving end. Most of the Trump crime syndicate/family are nothing more than parasites, and our country would be so much better off without them. I find it highly interesting the Germans knew this so long ago.

  2. ParkHill says:

    So, Trump owes (personally guaranteed owes) $500 to $1,000 millions to "somebodies".

    Reversing that equation: Who owns Trump?

    Saudi Arabia

  3. harrydoby says:

    The Times article doesn’t say to whom Trump is indebted, but that he won’t escape this time (in fact he is facing a cash crunch both in his campaign as well as personally):

    In 2012, he took out a $100 million mortgage on the commercial space in Trump Tower. He has also sold hundreds of millions worth of stock and bonds. But his financial records indicate that he may have as little as $873,000 left to sell.

    He appears to have paid off none of the principal of the Trump Tower mortgage, and the full $100 million comes due in 2022. And if he loses his dispute with the I.R.S. over the 2010 refund, he could owe the government more than $100 million (including interest on the original amount).

    And he didn’t learn from his near-death (financial) experience from the ’90’s

    In the 1990s, Mr. Trump nearly ruined himself by personally guaranteeing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, and he has since said that he regretted doing so. But he has taken the same step again, his tax records show. He appears to be responsible for loans totaling $421 million, most of which is coming due within four years.

    This time, Ol’ Wilbur might not be so willing to bail him out. Even if he doesn’t wind up behind bars, in a few years, he might look like a scene out of “Trading Places”

  4. ParkHill says:

    Here is the best explainer I've seen about the Business/Tax aspects:

    Josh Kovensky from TPM: "Five Points On The Many Questions Raised By Trump’s Tax Returns"

    But, again, that’s a lot of trouble to go to in order to simply reduce a large tax burden.

    “It’s certainly a joke among white collar prosecutors that when you see a restaurant with nobody in it, what a great money laundering front,” joked Galle, the former tax prosecutor. “But the the question is to what extent they’re counting operating losses, it did seem like they were larger than could be explained.”

    And, it raises the question of what the underlying source of revenue was for which Trump was furiously trying to reduce his tax burden. Or, rather, what money was flowing into his business empire that itself would have obviated tens of millions in losses.

  5. itlduso says:

    Here’s a new one:  Frank Figliuzi, former FBI counterintelligence asst director, noted that Trump will still be a national security threat even if he loses.  Trump could easily disclose national security secrets (eg, our nuclear system, bunker locations, everything) to foreign adversaries (read: Putin) in return for financial relief (read: Russian mafia).
     BTW – What did Trump discuss with Putin in those closed door sessions not attended by any Americans?

    • kickshot says:

      Frank had good points.

      Would Dump somehow develop the guts to play highest bidder for what he's been able to glean w/o even having read or listened to 95% of his PDBs? And then he's got the family in cahoots w/him too.

      Must suck being Dump.

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