The Trumps Never Pay Their Debts

So many chickens are coming home to roost on the White House that the Trumps could go into the rotten egg business. Even the Trumps’ sordid history as intractable deadbeats may be finally about to bite them.

For example, the Guardian reported recently that the Trumps owe Scottish courts a bill of tens of thousands of pounds that they have, so far, refused to pay. The bill came from Trump’s 2014 suit to stop a windfarm from being built near his Aberdeenshire golf course. Trump lost the suit in 2015, and per Scottish law he is on the hook to pay for all court expenses. But the Trump organization will not accept the bill because they are disputing the amount.

So the bill is now in the hands of a court-appointed adjudicator. I assume Scotland could eventually seize the property if the Trumps continue to refuse to pay. This may be doing the Trumps a favor, since the Scottish golf resorts lose millions of dollars a year. Recently Scotland also shot down a pitch from Eric Trump to build luxury housing around the Turnberry resort.

The Scotsman reports that local officials like the rolling agricultural fields along the Firth of Clyde coastline more than they like pleasing the son of the United States president. Eric Trump had pitched local authorities on a plan to transform farmland surrounding the resort into villas and golf homes. The development play was an effort to juice revenues at Trump Turnberry, which has lost roughly $40 million since Trump acquired it in 2014.

Turnberry is, of course, the place made infamous when it was revealed the U.S. military was using the resort and its nearby airport for refueling stops — money pouring into Trump pockets, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. Very likely they’ve made enough on pit stops to pay the Scottish court bill.

But Trump has a long-standing aversion to paying bills even when he clearly owes them.

A USA Today analysis published Thursday uncovered 60 lawsuits by ordinary Americans who say Trump and his businesses failed to pay them for their work.

The list includes plumbers and painters, waiters and bartenders, real estate brokers and even law firms who helped him defend such suits.

The documents reviewed by the newspaper include:

  • More than 200 liens since the 1980s that were filed by contractors and workers who said they were stiffed.
  • Records released by casino regulators in 1990 that show 253 subcontractors on a single project were not paid in full or on time.
  • Twenty-four Fair Labor Act violations by the Trump Plaza casino and Trump Mortgage for failure to pay minimum wage or overtime. The cases were resolved with an agreement to pay back wages.

The deadbeatery now extends to the Trump campaign, which refuses to reimburse cities for security at Trump rallies.

In city after city, across the nation, Trump has failed to pay local officials who provide thousands of dollars’ worth of security assistance to the president’s campaign during his Make America Great Again rallies.

In total, at least 10 cities have complained that the campaign has not reimbursed them for services provided by local police and fire departments, totaling more than $840,000, according to a study by the Center for Public Integrity in June.

Some of these bills go back to 2016, note. The fiscal damage to some local municipalities has been significant.

Trump has scheduled one of his MAGA rallies for tomorrow in Minneapolis. Trump narrowly lost Minnesota in 2016, and according to many accounts he believes he can win the state in 2020. But Mayor Jacob Frey, clearly nobody’s fool, demanded the city be paid $530,000 for security and other costs associated with the rally in advance.

And, of course, the Trump campaign refused and instead went to war with the mayor of Minneapolis.

It’s not as if the Trump campaign can’t pay $530,000. At least, it ought to be able to. Trump and the RNC raised $125 million in third quarter fundraising, which is a presidential fundraising record. Altogether, the various parts of Trump’s campaign efforts have raised more than $308 million in total in 2019, and boast more than $156 million cash on hand. A mere $530,000 shouldn’t break the bank. Yet Trump is going to war against the mayor of Minneapolis, unleashing one of his trademark twitter rage tantrumps and threatening to sue the city for extortion. To which the mayor responded:

One suspects this is a public relations mistake on Trump’s part. Minnesota may be a mostly rural state, but most of the population lives in cities, and winning the state’s electoral votes means winning the cities. And now most news outlets in Minnesota are explaining to citizens that Trump doesn’t pay his bills.

Even better, the white terrorist group Oath Keepers is planning on sending heavily armed thugs to the rally to “protect” it. The city is going to need that security.

As of this writing Trump is, apparently, getting away with the use of the city’s Target Center without paying in advance, which pretty much means he will never pay at all. Although the city owns the Target Center, the contract to host the rally is with the management company, AEG Worldwide, and AEG is honoring the contract. It is possible the city eventually will bill AEG for whatever it will cost to keep Minneapolis safe.

Some businesses in the neighborhood of the Target Center, notably a couple of popular night spots, are honoring the event by pledging to donate their profits for the evening to Planned Parenthood.

Trump’s sycophants are blasting Mayor Frey and badmouthing Minneapolis as fast as they can move their lips, or thumbs, as it were. But again, if the whole point of this rally is winning votes for Trump, wouldn’t it have made a lot more sense to just pay the bleeping $530,000? How is pissing off Minneapolis going to help him win the state? Aaron Ruper writes at Vox that while Minnesota isn’t completely beyond Trump’s reach, most indicators suggest he’s much less popular there than in 2016, and his brand of nasty campaigning really doesn’t work that well in the state.

See also Trump’s 2016 campaign was run on a shoestring. His reelection machine is huge — and armed with consultants. While Trump probably will never pay Minneapolis, he is paying an army of consultants very handsomely. I assume they insist on being paid up front.