Depreciate This: Trump Is a Massive Security Risk

The story thus far: According to the New York Times, Trump is personally responsible for loans and other debts totaling $421 million. Most of this debt comes due within four years. Further, the IRS is auditing him about a $72.9 million tax refund he received a decade ago. It it is decided that refund was not legitimate, it’s possible he owes the IRS about $100 million now. So that’s, um, a lot of debt. About a half billion, right?

And then there’s this, by Timothy O’Brien at Bloomberg News:

Dan Alexander, a senior editor at Forbes, has been covering Trump’s business interests since 2016 and has a new book out about the president’s financial conflicts of interest, “White House Inc.” Alexander, in a helpful tally he shared Sunday evening, estimates Trump’s total indebtedness to be about $1.1 billion. Now that’s more like it.

Oh, dear.

I have no idea what all of Trump’s properties are worth and if he could raise some money by selling them off. I’m guessing the value of all his properties added together would be a figure in the billions. But since his resort properties have been losing millions of dollars over the past several years, one wonders who would buy them.

David Atkins:

One fact stands out far above all the others in its staggering implications: Donald Trump is personally responsible for $421 million worth of loans coming due in the next few years. Not his business. Him. Personally. He has no means of repaying them. He already refinanced his few profitable properties, and sold off most of his stocks to stay afloat. He appears short on liquidity. And we still don’t know to whom he owes the money.

Trump may be the poorest man in America, for all we know.

This fact has frightening implications for public policy and national security. Even minor debts are a frequent reason for the government to deny a security clearance, for the obvious reason that indebted and financially desperate public servants make easy marks for bribery, blackmail and potential treason.

That’s the real issue, folks. His not paying taxes is small potatoes compared to his security vulnerabilities. It’s the debt, more than the nonpayment of taxes, that is the primary concern here. Because, it turns out, we still don’t know who holds that debt. Whoever holds that debt owns Trump. By extension, the secret creditor(s) owns us. And that creditor(s) is almost certainly a foreign entity. Or several foreign entities.

Alex Ward writes at Vox that we already knew foreign countries use Trump businesses to influence U.S. foreign policy. And you know Trump wouldn’t think twice about selling out the interests of the U.S. to reduce his liquidity issues. He’s probably already sold us all out.

Trump said last year that he was a “big fan of” President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, but their relationship hit some snags over Ankara’s attacks on US allies in Syria and its unlawful imprisonment of an American pastor.

When US-Turkey ties were low, the Times recalled a few curiosities:

[In 2018,] a Turkish business group canceled a conference at Mr. Trump’s Washington hotel; six months later, when the two countries were on better terms, the rescheduled event was attended by Turkish government officials. Turkish Airlines also chose the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Virginia to host an event [in 2017].

In other words, countries like Turkey can potentially find ways to Trump’s heart by ensuring money goes into his family’s pocket in hopes of altering US foreign policy. The Trump Organization, then, gives nations an unprecedented extra leverage point to influence an American president.

Ward has other examples of connections between foreign policy and Trump’s businesses. Trump is exceedingly easy to bribe, apparently. I wonder what he got for selling out the Kurds?

There are already a lot of gee-whiz articles out there detailing the absurd deductions and depreciations Trump took to reduce his taxes that don’t pass the smell test. He’s probably underpaid by many times more than $100 million, and his kids are in on it. Don’t forget that Trump probably is already being investigated for tax fraud by the Manhattan district attorney. More of those details will be coming out over the next few days, I have no doubt. But don’t lose sight of the bigger issue. The man needs to be kept away from foriegn policy decisions.

See Greg Sargent, Stunning new revelations about Trump’s taxes also expose a hidden weakness. But see also David Frum, Trump Just Lost Control of the Game.

15 thoughts on “Depreciate This: Trump Is a Massive Security Risk

  1. It's shit like this that really gets to me. There's nothing like giving that last full measure of devotion!

    Trump repeatedly insisted that the presidency had “cost me billions.” In an October 2018 call to Fox & Friends, he estimated the loss at $2 billion to $3 billion. At a press conference a year later, he upped the estimate of his sacrifice to $5 billion. Trump’s son Don Jr. compared the family’s sacrifices to the heroism honored at Arlington National Cemetery. In his book Triggered, he described his feelings on a visit to Arlington: “In that moment, I also thought of all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed—voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals to avoid the appearance that we were ‘profiting off the office.’”


  2. He owes hundreds of millions of dollars, coming due soon, to the kind of people that you don't want to owe a dime to. So he'll be safer behind bars than in public. Someone should point this out to him.

  3. Trump Just Lost Control of the Game

    …the ink-on-paper confirmation of Trump’s indebtedness, tax dodging, and all-around crookedness will get into Trump’s head. His political project through the pandemic has been to mess with his opponents by hurling one crazy distraction after another. Now, suddenly, it’s his own decision loop that has been disrupted….

    …At a press conference on the afternoon the New York Times Trump tax story broke, he denounced as false the report that he had paid only $750 in tax in 2017. Watch his face as he issued the denial, though, and you can see him belatedly foresee the follow-up question: “But can you give people an idea of how much you actually are paying?” Trump was visibly scrambled.

    Scrambled, too, are whatever plans Trump may have had for the first presidential debate tomorrow night. He may try to huff and puff—a tactic that might have saved the day if he were sitting on a lead. Instead, he’s trying to climb out of an eight-to-10-point deficit. Gravity is now pulling harder against him.

    For once in his life, Trump seems tongue-tied.

  4. I suspect our presuDUNCE is less worried about the money he owes some banks and the IRS, and much more concerned (Read:  PANICKED!) about that $440+ Million he owes to…

    "Poisonous" Putin, and his not-at-all merry band of Oligarchs.

    "Murderous" MBS, and his human-deconstruction henchmen.

    And China's, and Xi's, Billionaires. 

    As @paradoctor said above, the people he probably owes that money to, are not the type of people you want to cheat, or double-cross.  

  5. Trump paid $750 in taxes, and $130,000 to a p*rn star. It's an outrage! _My_ kind of President would pay $130,000 in taxes, and $750 to a p*rn star!

  6. And Turkey, why does no one ever pay attention to Turkey?  So much of that which is the meeting of East and West happens in Turkey.  No one wants to hear about or talk turkey unless it is close to Thanksgiving.  Then someone wants turkey deep fried in peanut oil and you might as well just alert the local fire department ahead of time.  I have had it and it is not worth the fire risk.  An open burner, a vat of peanut oil, a quart of holiday cheer, now what could possibly go wrong?

    Oh the Trump sacrifice for the country he wraps uses and abuses.  His great effort and expense to avoid even the lightest of military service or any other public service for that matter.  Pay taxes, well as Leona once said, that is for the little people.  Fighting, getting captured, dying, is for the succors and losers.  As Jack Kennedy never said:   Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can avoid doing for the good of the country unless you or your friends and family get a big cut.  Trump does not have to say what Jack Kennedy never said because he yells it constantly.  Actions do speak more loudly than words,  you just have be a multisensory, brain active, listener. 

    I am just trying to talk a little turkey here, that's all.  It bother's me that no one ever wants to.  Maybe Joe will tonight in the "debate".  I hope they refrain Donnie from doing his turkey strut to stay on camera when Joe is talking.  Pardon all my fowl language.  

  7. They should look into the taxes of the whole Trump/ Kushner crime family. What do you think the chances are that they all haven't learned from the master the art of cheating the system? We already know that Ivanka has got her hand in dad's tax fraud scheme. And I'd bet my bottom dollar that Eric the Vintner's winery has suffered some major business losses, or paid out exorbitant consulting fees to businesses owned by other family members.

     It's a given that they are all a bunch of scam artists using their hundreds of businesses as tools to obscure tax liabilities.

  8. Interesting the force with which these tax bombshells hit, given that Trump's tax woes are not "new."  The release of the tax returns and the information in them just confirms what was already known.  Hillary told us back in 2016:

    Hills had the goods back then, but no one would listen because we were told Trump was an "outsider" and "genius businessman" who would shake things up.  Besides, her emails.

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