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SaintsInDome2006

The Case Against the President: Emoluments, Trump's Finances, Taxes & Foundation

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Trump's DC Hotel Prices Spiked One Weekend 13X

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In November, we noticed a mysterious spike in the price of available rooms at Trump’s DC hotel for a Saturday night in December. The minimum cost was 13 times the average, but we couldn’t identify a reason for the spike, until photos surfaced of the Trump Victory Committee’s winter retreat at Trump’s Hotel on that exact night, which appears to have sold out much of the venue. While the least expensive room for a one-night stay at the hotel was around $500 on surrounding days, the cheapest room on December 14 was a whopping $6,719. With access to Trump, Pence, and other top officials, and a bonus invitation to the White House holiday party for donors, we no longer have to wonder why.

On November 7th, CREW flagged a massive spike in the cost of a room on December 14, suggesting that every less expensive room in the hotel was sold out, leaving only pricey suites. Presumably, rooms were taken up by donors to Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee of the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign. The exorbitant cost is even more evidence that hosting fundraisers at the Trump International Hotel is one of the best ways to sell out the notoriously empty venue, sending donor money right into Trump’s pocket.

Lucky donors who managed to snag a room were also invited to the White House’s holiday open house, meaning that the cost of a room at Trump’s DC Hotel and donations towards his reelection included exclusive political access for the buyer. 

For those seeking access to the president and top members of his Cabinet, the Trump Victory Committee fundraiser did not disappoint. According to 1100 Pennsylvania, President Trump, Vice President Pence and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt were scheduled to attend Trump Victory’s retreat. Vice President Pence, who is one of the most frequent visitors to Trump properties, was a special guest for lunch. Pence’s lunch alone appears to have attracted 650 guests, according to a social media post that appears to have been from the event, well over the Trump Hotel’s 263 rooms. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, who is one of the top visitors to Trump properties among executive branch officials, also participated in a “Women for Trump Panel.” Finally, Trump and Secretary Bernhardt were slated to be special guests at the “Jingle and Mingle Cocktail Reception and Winter Retreat Gala.” 

There’s no question that political spending like the Trump Victory Committee fundraiser has helped make Trump’s DC Hotel one of the few bright spots in his financial portfolio, despite it’s high vacancy rate. CREW has tracked 72 political events held at Trump properties during the Trump presidency, 40 of which have been held at his DC hotel. Trump Victory has been a particularly loyal customer for the DC hotel, hosting fundraisers in June 2017, September 2018, May 2019, and June 2019. The Center for Responsive Politics found that all the political spending at the hotel is paying off, totalling nearly $20 million since the 2016 election cycle.

Rate spikes like this have happened before at Trump’s DC hotel, on the Fourth of July and during a Senate Republican retreat in November; but at thirteen times the average rate, The Trump Victory retreat drove an unprecedented jump.

 

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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3 minutes ago, James Daulton said:

Hey guise, Trump graciously donates his salary while not personally benefiting financially at all from running for and being    president.  Just a sweetheart of a guy.

😆

"I may have stolen $10,000 from the bank, but I gave $100 to charity so we're all good right? What have YOU given??"

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6 minutes ago, Biff84 said:

Would it better to call this money laundering or bribery?

I'm not sure, I'm pretty sure if it was some state or city official and politicians or public vendors were renting out his hotel like this there would be a federal investigation for public corruption.

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17 hours ago, BladeRunner said:

I would say that if someone is going to directly make fun of the President for donating his $400K salary then I think they open the doors to someone asking them how much THEY are donating.  They brought it up and ridiculed him for it.  Why shouldn't someone be able to ask them about their donations?

Can I make fun of him for going 8 years without donating to his own private foundation?  Can I make fun of him for using charitable funds from that private foundation (funds that were donated by others) for his own personal benefit?

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19 hours ago, BladeRunner said:
19 hours ago, sho nuff said:

Because we see article after article with how much taxpayer money is being spent at his resorts.  Is it fair to criticize him for that?

It sure is as long as we hold ALL presidents accountable to the same standard!  👍

But the fact that he's donating his $400K salary seems like a GOOD thing, no?  Those making fun of it should maybe post how much of their salary they are donating so we can compare just how ridiculous it actually is - if that is case.

 I think this is the rub.  Our current President pissed and moaned about this as a private citizen when Obama was doing it (to a significantly less extent) and here he is.

For me it's absurd all the way around.  I get getting out on the golf course to get away from things for a bit.  They all need a little time away from the job, but the utter hypocrisy amongst the "sides" on this stuff is pretty comical.  I think where this crosses the line is the personal enrichment going to his clubs on the taxpayer dime.  Trump's alone in that regard.

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3 minutes ago, The Commish said:

 I think this is the rub.  Our current President pissed and moaned about this as a private citizen when Obama was doing it (to a significantly less extent) and here he is.

For me it's absurd all the way around.  I get getting out on the golf course to get away from things for a bit.  They all need a little time away from the job, but the utter hypocrisy amongst the "sides" on this stuff is pretty comical.  I think where this crosses the line is the personal enrichment going to his clubs on the taxpayer dime.  Trump's alone in that regard.

How much taxpayer money did Obama spend at Hotels and Golf Courses that he owned?

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1 hour ago, Marauder said:

How much taxpayer money did Obama spend at Hotels and Golf Courses that he owned?

yeah, I know....when I hit submit, I knew this was coming even though I specifically wrote the last sentence.

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2 hours ago, bigbottom said:

Can I make fun of him for going 8 years without donating to his own private foundation?  Can I make fun of him for using charitable funds from that private foundation (funds that were donated by others) for his own personal benefit?

None of that matters.  He donates his salary out of the goodness of his heart and that shows what a great guy he is. 

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3 minutes ago, The Commish said:

yeah, I know....when I hit submit, I knew this was coming even though I specifically wrote the last sentence.

Oof.   Sorry, somehow I missed the last sentence.   The playing golf a lot after he was so outraged at Obama doing it is just amusing.  Heck, we'd probably be better off as a county if he spent all his time playing golf, but he realized early on that the every time he travels to Mara Lago or his other resorts he makes money and the more staff he brings with him the more money he makes.  That's the reason why he spends so much time there.

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9 minutes ago, urbanhack said:
On 12/30/2019 at 5:48 PM, BladeRunner said:

It sure is as long as we hold ALL presidents accountable to the same standard!  👍

But the fact that he's donating his $400K salary seems like a GOOD thing, no?  Those making fun of it should maybe post how much of their salary they are donating so we can compare just how ridiculous it actually is - if that is case.

We aren’t. That’s the F ing point.  

Exactly. If we held ALL presidents to the same standard, Trump would have sold all of his business interests or moved them into a blind trust. Like every other president in modern times.

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21 hours ago, Amused to Death said:

Exactly. If we held ALL presidents to the same standard, Trump would have sold all of his business interests or moved them into a blind trust. Like every other president in modern times.

Clearly you have forgotten about the stacks of papers.

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New FEC filing: Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign paid $194,247.57 to Trump family members, properties & businesses in the final quarter of last year alone—steering over $1.8 MILLION in donations from presidential campaign donors to Donald Trump's private interests.

Open Secrets

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Appeals court tosses Democrats' emoluments lawsuit against Trump

 

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The three-judge panel -- Judges Karen Henderson, David Tatel and Thomas Griffith -- was in unanimous agreement, saying the Democratic lawmakers lack the standing to challenge the President, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled.

The Democrats' "claim is based entirely on the loss of political power," the appellate panel wrote in the opinion. "Our conclusion is straightforward because the Members -- 29 Senators and 186 Members of the House of Representatives -- do not constitute a majority of either body and are, therefore, powerless to approve or deny the President's acceptance of foreign emoluments."

Based on this statement I'm going to go out on a limb and guess these were all Trump appointed judges?

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I don’t understand that ruling but haven’t read the actual text of the ruling. I’m hoping there is more context that what the article provides, because the conclusion quoted in the article seems ridiculous. 

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Secret Service has paid rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at Trump’s properties

By 

David A. Fahrenthold, 

Jonathan O'Connell, 

Carol D. Leonnig and 

Josh Dawsey 

Feb. 7, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EST

President Trump’s company charges the Secret Service for the rooms agents use while protecting him at his luxury properties — billing U.S. taxpayers at rates as high as $650 per night, according to federal records and people who have seen receipts.

Those charges, compiled here for the first time, show that Trump has an unprecedented — and largely hidden — business relationship with his own government. When Trump visits his clubs in Palm Beach, Fla., and Bedminster, N.J., the service needs space to post guards and store equipment.

Trump’s company says it charges only minimal fees. But Secret Service records do not show that.

At Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, the Secret Service was charged the $650 rate dozens of times in 2017, and a different rate, $396.15, dozens more times in 2018, according to documents from Trump’s visits.

And at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, the Secret Service was charged $17,000 a month to use a three-bedroom cottage on the property, an unusually high rent for homes in that area, according to receipts from 2017. Trump’s company billed the government even for days when Trump wasn’t there.

These payments appear to contradict the Trump Organization’s own statements about what it charges members of his government entourage. “If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free — meaning, like, cost for housekeeping,” Trump’s son Eric said in a Yahoo Finance interview last year.

The full extent of the Secret Service’s payments to Trump’s company is not known. The Secret Service has not listed them in public databases of federal spending, as is usually required for payments over $10,000.

Instead, documents have come out piecemeal, through public records requests from news organizations and watchdog groups. The Washington Post compiled available records and found 103 payments from the Secret Service to Trump’s company dated between January 2017 and April 2018.

The records show more than $471,000 in payments from taxpayers to Trump’s companies. But — because these records cover only a fraction of Trump’s travel during a fraction of his term — the actual total is likely to be higher.

“It is more than a little disconcerting, knowing this is going on, and not knowing what the actual numbers are,” said Jordan Libowitz, of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “That’s kind of crazy that we know the president is benefiting from the presidency, and we do not know how. We do not know how many taxpayer dollars are in his pocket.”....

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Trump corruption is normalized now.  His supporters are fine with it.

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1 hour ago, Sheriff Bart said:

Appeals court tosses Democrats' emoluments lawsuit against Trump

 

Based on this statement I'm going to go out on a limb and guess these were all Trump appointed judges?

Nope.  Three judges were appointed by George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush.

 

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22 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Nope.  Three judges were appointed by George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush.

 

So, this ends up going to the Supreme Court, no?  Seems like one they'd take up with all the "disagreement" in the lower courts.

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Maybe this ruling makes a little sense or maybe I've just been corrupted by FBG lawyers into thinking about things differently. What exactly is the process for prosecuting emoluments violations by the president? Is it impeachment?

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5 minutes ago, The Commish said:

So, this ends up going to the Supreme Court, no?  Seems like one they'd take up with all the "disagreement" in the lower courts.

It's not clear what will happen next.  I just read the opinion and, without going back to read the cases it cites, the opinion does not seem unreasonable at all.  It may be that the Democrats will think it's a better option to try to get a majority of house members to join in as plaintiffs, which would alleviate the standing issue that the court identified.

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Just now, roadkill1292 said:

Maybe this ruling makes a little sense or maybe I've just been corrupted by FBG lawyers into thinking about things differently. What exactly is the process for prosecuting emoluments violations by the president? Is it impeachment?

The constitution says that Presidents can't take emoluments without the approval of Congress.  In the case that just was thrown out, a bunch of members of Congress argued that they had been injured because they weren't able to vote on whether to approve or reject Trump's receipt of emoluments.  It's not a criminal case.  

But yeah, impeachment is really the only thing Congress could do to stop him.  The purpose of the case, as far as I can tell, is that the impeachment case is much stronger if the courts tell Trump he's violating the law and he continues doing it anyway.  

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54 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Nope.  Three judges were appointed by George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush.

 

There goes my dream of quitting Zumba and becoming the "guess your weight" guy at the carnival.

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1 minute ago, Sheriff Bart said:

There goes my dream of quitting Zumba and becoming the "guess your weight" guy at the carnival.

You can do it!

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In private speech, Bolton suggests some of Trump's foreign policy decisions are guided by personal interest

The former national security director was especially critical of the president's handling of Turkey, according to multiple sources present for his remarks.

Former national security adviser John Bolton derided President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law during a private speech last week and suggested his former boss’ approach to U.S. policy on Turkey is motivated by personal or financial interests, several people who were present for the remarks told NBC News.

According to six people who were there, Bolton also questioned the merits of Trump applying his business acumen to foreign policy, saying such issues can’t be approached like the win-or-lose edict that drives real estate deals: When one deal doesn’t work, you move on to the next.

The description was part of a broader portrait Bolton outlined of a president who lacks an understanding of the interconnected nature of relationships in foreign policy and the need for consistency, these people said.

Bolton has kept a low public profile since he left the administration on Sept. 10, and efforts by Democrats to have him testify in the House impeachment inquiry into the president have stalled. But his pointed comments, at a private gathering last Wednesday at Morgan Stanley’s global investment event in Miami, painted a dark image of a president and his family whose potential personal gain is at the heart of decision-making, according to people who were present for his remarks.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

Bolton served as Trump’s national security adviser for 17 months. The Ukraine scandal began to unfold about a week after his contentious departure. Trump said he’d fired him, though Bolton said he had resigned.

Multiple people who attended Bolton’s private speech in Miami did not recall him mentioning Ukraine but said he told attendees that he had kept a resignation letter in his desk for three months. Bolton declined to comment for this article.

Bolton is a potential linchpin witness in the inquiry into Trump’s efforts to elicit help from the Ukrainian government to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, given his central role in the White House during that time. The impeachment inquiry moves to public testimony this week.

Current and former administration officials have testified about Bolton’s strong opposition to the Ukraine pressure effort, which was led by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and allegedly involved withholding military aid and a presidential meeting until the Ukrainian government publicly committed to investigations, including into 2016 U.S. election interference and a business associated with Biden's son Hunter.

Bolton’s lawyer teased his client's value last week in a letter to House Democrats that noted that the former national security adviser had been present for “many relevant meetings and conversations” on Ukraine, including some that have yet to be disclosed to investigators. His lawyer, Charles Cooper, said Bolton is willing to testify if a federal court approves it and issues a ruling that essentially says he can defy the White House’s position that he can’t speak to Congress.

Bolton, a long-time foreign policy hawk who also served in the administration of President George W. Bush, expressed support in his private remarks for Trump’s stance against China on trade, people present said. But Trump and Bolton had a litany of policy differences — on Iran, North Korea, Syria and, apparently, Ukraine.

Bolton told the gathering of Morgan Stanley’s largest hedge fund clients that he was most frustrated with Trump over his handling of Turkey, people who were present said. Noting the broad bipartisan support in Congress to sanction Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan purchased a Russian missile defense system, Bolton said Trump’s resistance to the move was unreasonable, four people present for his speech said.

Bolton said he believes there is a personal or business relationship dictating Trump’s position on Turkey because none of his advisers are aligned with him on the issue, the people present said.

The Trump Organization has a property in Istanbul, and the president's daughter Ivanka Trump attended the opening with Erdogan in 2012. Though it’s a leasing agreement for use of the Trump name, Trump himself said in a 2015 interview that the arrangement presented “a little conflict of interest” should he be elected.

During an Oct. 6 phone call with Erdogan, Trump agreed to pull back U.S. troops from northeast Syria so Turkish forces could launch an attack against America’s Kurdish allies in the area. The presence of U.S. forces had deterred Erdogan from invading Syria, which he had threatened to do for years. Trump’s decision, followed by an order for all U.S. troops to exit Syria, was widely criticized even among the president’s Republican allies and was seen by many as a gift to the Turkish leader. ...

 

- NBC

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53 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

In private speech, Bolton suggests some of Trump's foreign policy decisions are guided by personal interest

YA THINK?

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If only there was a place Bolton could've spoke about this in front of a nationwide audience...

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2 hours ago, squistion said:

YA THINK?

 

2 hours ago, urbanhack said:

SHOCKED

 

2 hours ago, yak651 said:

If only there was a place Bolton could've spoke about this in front of a nationwide audience...

yeah

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MGM Told to Hand Over Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ Tapes in Scam Suit

>>Unaired footage from Donald Trump‘s “Celebrity Apprentice” should be handed over to entrepreneurs who claim they were ripped off when Trump and his children repeatedly endorsed a troubled multilevel marketing company on the reality-TV show, a judge said.

It would be the first time outsiders would get a chance to view at least some parts of the reality TV show that weren’t publicly broadcast. <<

>>Trump and his three oldest children were sued in 2018 for their roles in promoting ACN from 2005 to 2015 with Trump suggesting people could invest in the company’s desktop video phone with little or no risk. The service was quickly eclipsed with the advent of smartphones and the plaintiffs claim they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by putting their faith in the Trumps.<<

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Posted (edited)

The President's private company is asking the President's administration for rent relief.

++++++++++++++++

Trump (the Company) Asks Trump (the Administration) for Hotel Relief

The president’s family business pays at least $3 million a year to the federal government for the lease on its D.C. hotel, which is all but empty because of the virus. The next monthly payment is coming due.

President Trump’s signature hotel in the nation’s capital wants a break on the terms of its lease. The landlord determining the fate of the request is Mr. Trump’s own administration.

Trump International Hotel, just a few blocks from the White House, had been a favored gathering place for lobbyists, foreign dignitaries and others hoping to score points with the president. But like most hotels, it is now nearly empty and looking to cut costs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks, the president’s family business has inquired about changing its lease payments, according to people familiar with the matter, which the federal government has reported amount to nearly $268,000 per month.

The Trump Organization owns and operates the luxury hotel, but it is in a federally owned building on Pennsylvania Avenue. As part of its deal to open the 263-room hotel, the company signed a 60-year lease in 2013 that requires the monthly payments to the General Services Administration.

Eric Trump, the president’s son, confirmed that the company had opened a conversation about possible changes to the terms of the lease, which could include adjustments to future monthly payments. The Trump Organization has said it is current on its rent.

The younger Mr. Trump said the company was asking the G.S.A. for any relief that it might be granting other federal tenants. The president still owns the company, but his eldest sons run the day-to-day operations.

“Just treat us the same,” Eric Trump said in a statement on Tuesday. “Whatever that may be is fine.”

The G.S.A. did not immediately respond to a request for comment, including about whether its other tenants had made similar inquiries. The White House also did not respond to a request for comment.

Companies across the country have pleaded for relief from lenders and landlords, but the Trump Organization’s submission presents a particular predicament.

If it denies the request, the agency risks running afoul of the president, who appoints its leader; but if it accommodates the Trumps, the agency is likely to draw fire from critics.

The Trump Organization was barred by Congress from seeking relief from the $500 billion rescue fund being administered by the Treasury Department, and a Trump Organization executive said on Tuesday that the company had decided not to apply for a federal loan through the Small Business Administration. The company argues that it is seeking only temporary relief from the G.S.A. while the hotel industry globally copes with an extraordinary drop in business.

Along with the broader hospitality industry, the company is expected to take a significant hit from the economic shutdown. The Trump Organization has temporarily closed its hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, cut staff and services at its hotel in New York, and effectively closed its golf clubs in New Jersey and Florida. It also shuttered the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, which at this time of year would ordinarily be acting as the “winter White House,” as the president refers to it. The Washington hotel’s bar, restaurant and spa are closed, but it is still accepting reservations.

The request to the G.S.A. is one of a number of attempts by the Trump Organization to get breathing room from its lenders and other financial partners.

The company has been talking with Deutsche Bank, the president’s largest creditor, about the possibility of postponing payments on its loans from the bank.

Mr. Trump owes Deutsche Bank more than $300 million on loans connected to the Washington hotel, his Doral golf resort in Florida and a skyscraper in downtown Chicago. The Trump Organization has a small amount of debt compared with other major real estate companies, which could weigh in its favor as it seeks support from Deutsche Bank and others. Representatives have been in talks with Rosemary Vrablic, a senior banker in the Deutsche Bank division that serves the ultrarich, about delaying or reducing its loan payments. Ms. Vrablic has been working with Mr. Trump for nearly a decade and, before that, worked closely with Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

While Ms. Vrablic is in charge of the bank’s relationship with the company, changes to the terms of the loans could generate acrimony inside Deutsche Bank and are likely to be vetted by senior executives responsible for protecting the bank’s reputation, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.

Bank executives already have been debating the wisdom of granting forbearance to the president, with some worried about the political blowback they would almost certainly encounter for cutting Mr. Trump slack, the person said. Deutsche Bank is overseen by federal regulators, and the Justice Department has been conducting a criminal investigation into the bank over allegations of money laundering and other misconduct.

In Florida, the Trump Organization in late March sought guidance from Palm Beach County about whether it had to continue making monthly payments on land that the company leases for its 27-hole Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, according to people briefed on the discussions and documents reviewed by The New York Times.

This month, the Trump Organization made its monthly lease payment of about $88,000 about a week after the due date but before the company would have incurred a penalty, according to county documents. Company executives are still seeking guidance from Palm Beach County about whether they are expected to keep making lease payments with the golf industry shut down.

Eric Trump confirmed that the negotiations were underway and said the company was seeking the same relief that any other companies were getting.

“In Florida, the very county that mandated we close is the very county collecting rent,” he said. “What are they doing for others? Just treat us the same.” ...

++++++++++++++++

 

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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Posted (edited)

Note - Trump Org was late on its 88K rent check. They sound highly liquid :sarcasm:.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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Hmm...maybe we need that oversight...you know, so the family business isn't milking the administration for money.

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Secret Service paid Trump’s D.C. hotel more than $33,000 for lodging to guard treasury secretary

++++++++++++++

The Secret Service rented a room at President Trump’s Washington hotel for 137 consecutive nights in 2017 — paying Trump’s company more than $33,000 — so it could guard Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin while he lived in one of the hotel’s luxury suites, according to federal documents and people familiar with the arrangement.

Mnuchin, a financier from New York, lived in the Trump International Hotel for several months before moving to a home in Washington. Mnuchin paid for his hotel suite himself, a Treasury Department spokesperson said.

But during his stay, the Secret Service also rented the room next door at taxpayer expense, to screen Mnuchin’s visitors and packages, according to three people familiar with that arrangement who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

For that room, the Trump hotel charged the maximum rate that federal agencies were generally allowed to pay in 2017: $242 per night, according to the billing records. The Secret Service checked in Jan. 25, according to billing records obtained by The Washington Post, and didn’t make its last payment until June 12.

The total bill was $33,154.

The Post has identified dozens of instances where the Secret Service paid money to Trump’s businesses — spending taxpayer dollars, often with little or no disclosure at the time. Often, these payments were triggered by Trump’s own travel to his properties.

This case is different, because it was set in motion by Mnuchin, one of Trump’s top appointees. In 2017, he chose a living arrangement that produced two revenue streams for Trump’s company. One came from Mnuchin. The other came from taxpayers.

In a written statement, a Treasury Department spokesperson confirmed that the Secret Service had rented the room next to Mnuchin’s. The Post asked if Mnuchin had considered that cost to taxpayers, in deciding how long he would stay.

“The Secretary was not aware of what the U.S. Secret Service paid for the adjoining room,” the spokesperson said.

Trump still owns his business but says he has given day-to-day control to his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. while he is in the White House. The Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment, and the White House declined to comment. The Secret Service also declined to comment, saying it would not discuss “the means and methods we utilize to carry out our protective responsibilities.”

The Constitution bars presidents from taking payments from the federal government, beyond their annual salary, now set at $400,000. But Trump — who says he donates his salary — has argued that this provision was not meant to prohibit business transactions such as a hotel-room rental.

Lawsuits challenging this practice have stalled in the federal courts.

Neither the Trump administration nor the Trump Organization has provided an accounting of how much federal agencies have paid to Trump’s company since Inauguration Day in 2017. The Post has sought to compile its own, using documents obtained via public-records requests.

The Post has identified more than 170 payments from the Secret Service to Trump properties, totaling more than $620,000. In many cases, the Secret Service was paying to rent hotel rooms at Trump’s properties to accompany the president while he traveled. The actual total is likely to be higher, because the records released so far largely date from 2017 and 2018.

The $33,154 payment to Trump’s D.C. hotel was already known. The Secret Service had not explained why it had spent the money.

But recently, in response to a public records request from The Post, the Secret Service released hotel bills that show the answer: a single, very long stay.

“Arrival Date: 01/25/2017,” reads a five page-long bill from the Trump hotel to the Secret Service, released after a public-records request. “Room Number: 531.”

Room 531 itself is nothing unusual: a standard room with two queen beds, according to a former Trump hotel employee and internal Trump hotel documents obtained by The Post.

But it happens to adjoin one of the hotel’s jewels: the 2,000-square-foot Franklin Suite, with marble bathrooms, a dining table for six and views across to the Environmental Protection Agency building. In recent days, even with the hotel largely empty because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Franklin Suite was listed at $8,300 per night.

That was Mnuchin’s suite in 2017, according to one former Trump hotel staffer. The Treasury Department spokesperson said Mnuchin did stay in a suite at the hotel but could not recall the suite’s name. The spokesperson said Mnuchin negotiated a discounted rate with the hotel manager but declined to disclose that rate.

The Secret Service, which has protected treasury secretaries for decades, took Room 531 to screen packages, visitors and laundry, according to two people familiar with the arrangement, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of sensitivity about security protocols.

People familiar with Secret Service practices said that was standard procedure when an official stayed in any hotel. During the Clinton administration, for instance, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin lived in the Jefferson Hotel near the White House for years, and the Secret Service used the room next door, according to news reports.

The difference, in this case, is that Mnuchin and the Secret Service were paying for rooms in a hotel owned by the same president who had appointed Mnuchin.

“Normally, you would deliver any deliveries to the Secret Service and then they would give it to the person under protection,” the former Trump employee said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to stay on good terms with a former employer.

The rate, according to the newly released documents, was $242 per night for every night of the 137-night stay.

The Trump Organization did not respond to questions about how that rate was chosen. One possible reason: For much of 2017, $242 was the maximum amount that federal employees could spend on a hotel room in Washington, according to rules set by the General Services Administration.

That was less than the rates Trump’s company has charged the Secret Service for rooms at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, which have ranged from $396 to $650. That exceeded the maximum government rate, but the Secret Service is permitted to exceed those limits while on protective duty. And the $242 rate was probably less than what Trump’s D.C. hotel might have gotten from a nongovernment customer in Washington. In 2018, for instance, Room 531 rented for as much as $616 per night, according to Trump hotel records obtained by The Post.

But for the Trump hotel it was also a steady rental at a time when only about 42 percent of rooms were occupied, according to previously released data.

“We were not anywhere near full occupancy at the hotel,” the former hotel employee said.

Mnuchin bought a $12.6 million home in Washington in February 2017 and moved out of the Trump hotel sometime in “late spring,” the Treasury Department spokesperson said. The spokesperson did not give an exact date when Mnuchin left the hotel.

For the Secret Service, the last payment on Room 531 was made June 12.

But other payments to the Trump hotel continued: The Post has identified $126,000 in additional payments from the Secret Service to the hotel between January 2017 and February 2018.

The Secret Service has not explained any of the others. But some do seem to follow the pattern from this case, with dollar amounts in multiples of the $242 nightly room rate.

For instance: On June 28, 2017 — a night when Trump visited the hotel for a fundraiser dinner — the Secret Service paid the hotel $33,638.

That is an even bigger payment than the one for Room 531. It is exactly enough to rent 139 rooms at the $242 rate.

But the Secret Service has not said what it was paying for in that case.

++++++++++++++

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Not to mention the million dollars worth of contributions from Mnuchen there...

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Posted (edited)

Trump’s company has received at least $970,000 from U.S. taxpayers for room rentals

 

++++++++++++

The U.S. government has paid at least $970,000 to President Trump’s company since Trump took office — including payments for more than 1,600 nightly room rentals at Trump’s hotels and clubs, according to federal records obtained by The Washington Post.

Since March, The Post has catalogued an additional $340,000 in such payments. They were almost all related to trips taken by Trump, his family and his top officials. The government is not known to have paid for the rooms for Trump and his family members at his properties but it has paid for staffers and Secret Service agents to accompany the president.

The payments create an unprecedented business relationship between the president’s private company and his government — which began in the first month of Trump’s presidency, and continued into this year, records show.

The records show that taxpayers have now paid for the equivalent of more than four years’ worth of nightly rentals at Trump properties, including 950 nights at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and 530 nights at the president’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, according to a Post analysis.

Trump still owns his business, though he says he has given day-to-day control to his eldest sons. Last year, Eric Trump said that when government officials visit Trump properties with the president, they are charged “like 50 bucks.”

But in the 1,600 room rentals examined by The Post, there were no examples of a rate that low.

Instead, the lowest room rate was $141.66 per night, for each of the rooms in a four-room cottage in Bedminster. The highest rate was $650 per night for rooms at Mar-a-Lago.

The Post asked the Trump Organization to provide an example where it had charged the government a rate low enough to match Eric Trump’s claim.

The company did not respond.

Trump has visited his own properties 250 times since taking office — though not since March 8, as the covid-19 pandemic shuttered many Trump properties and consumed his presidency. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump administration has provided a full accounting of how much taxpayer money has been paid to Trump’s companies since Inauguration Day 2017.

The Post has attempted to compile its own accounting, using hundreds of pages of federal spending documents obtained from public-records requests. In recent weeks, The Post added new data on spending by the Defense and State departments, and newly released data on spending by the Secret Service in 2019 and 2020.

The data is still incomplete. But it makes clear that Trump has received an unprecedented amount of payments from his own government.

“It’s not just that there’s a huge amount of money being spent: we have no idea how much the actual figure is,” because the records are released slowly and piecemeal, said Jordan Libowitz, of the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “We don’t know what’s happening . . . only that the taxpayers are footing the bill for it.”

Before Trump, the only recent president or vice president to charge rent to his own Secret Service protectors was former vice president Joe Biden, according to records and interviews with the staff of former presidents and vice presidents.

Biden, now Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent in the 2020 election, charged rent for a cottage near his home in Delaware. The rent, which was listed in public spending records at the time, totaled $171,600 over six years.

Trump’s company exceeded that total on March 17, 2017, records obtained by The Post show. He had been in office for less than two months.

As president, Trump is exempt from conflict-of-interest rules that prohibit other federal employees from steering government business to their private companies.

The Constitution bars presidents from taking additional payments from the federal government, beyond his salary. But Trump’s lawyers have argued that this was not intended to prohibit business transactions, like hotel room rentals. Legal challenges from Trump’s critics are moving slowly through the courts.

In the meantime, records show there have been hundreds of transactions where Trump is, in essence, both the buyer and seller. His company sends the bills. His government pays them, with little disclosure to the public at the time.

“This is the perfect transaction” for someone who wanted to exploit it, said Don Fox, who was acting head of the Office of Government Ethics from 2011 to 2013. “You get to not only set the price: you get to ensure that the buyer pays that price, no matter what it is.”

Trump’s company has downplayed concerns about these payments by saying it only charges the government “at cost.”

“If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free — meaning, like, cost for housekeeping,” Eric Trump said in a Yahoo Finance interview last year. The rate, he estimated, was about $50 a night.

To see if Trump’s company was living up to that professed standard, The Post tallied all the available records that showed Trump’s company charging Trump’s government for room rentals.

That search turned up more than 1,600 nightly room rentals. They began in the first month of Trump’s term.

In February 2017, for instance, Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a weekend at Mar-a-Lago. That weekend, at least three different federal agencies paid for hotel rooms inside Trump’s club:

●The Secret Service paid for three rooms for two nights each, records show. Trump’s club charged them $650 per night, according to two people who saw unredacted versions of the receipts. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the matter.

●The State Department paid for six rooms for two nights each. Trump’s club charged them $520 for some, and $546 for others, the records show. On the receipts, Mar-a-Lago labeled $546 as the “rack rate,” an industry term for the normal rate offered to guests, without discounts.

Later, the club gave the State Department partial refunds for some of its purchases, to reduce the rate to $396.15 per night. But it’s unclear from the records if these payments for the Abe visit were affected. The State Department did not answer questions submitted by The Post.

●The Defense Department also paid $1,469 for rooms at the club that weekend. But it’s unclear how many they rented, or what rate they paid. A Pentagon spokesperson said no more details could be located.

In all, the government paid Trump’s company $11,000 for hotel rooms that weekend. None of the rates, however, appeared to match Eric Trump’s description.

In the years that followed, the lowest rate for any rental on record was for the rooms in Trump’s Bedminster cottage: $141.66. But that was not for a standard hotel room that needed to be cleaned very day.

Instead, the Secret Service paid to rent the whole cottage — three bedrooms and a living room — to store equipment and provide sleeping space for agents. Because the equipment was difficult to move, the Secret Service paid by the month, even on days when Trump wasn’t there.

The cottage itself didn’t actually require much housekeeping, said Victorina Morales, who worked as a Bedminster housekeeper at the time. The agents were private and only had her clean it one to three times a week. “They took out their own trash,” she said.

The highest rate that The Post found was the $650 charged to the Secret Service at Mar-a-Lago in early 2017.

Other room rates fell in between. In Washington, where Secret Service agents rented a room for 137 nights to guard Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin while he lived in the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, the rate was $242 per night.

In the most recent records obtained by The Post — showing payments from the Secret Service to Mar-a-Lago in 2019 and early 2020 — the club appeared to be charging $396.15 per night.

During Trump’s most recent holiday vacation, for instance, the Secret Service was charged $32,484.30 — exactly enough for 82 room nights at that rate.

Hotel industry experts have said that all these figures far exceed the typical operating cost of hotel rooms — the sum of expenses for housekeeping and toiletries. That figure, experts have said, typically falls between $50 and $80 per night at luxury hotels.

“I wouldn’t expect it to be north of $100,” said Chris Anderson, a professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

The Trump Organization has not responded to questions about how it calculated the rates it charged to the government.

In several other cases, the government released documents showing what it had paid to Trump properties — but redacted the rates it was charged per night. When Eric Trump visited the Trump Turnberry course in July 2017, for instance, Trump’s club charged the Secret Service $6,802.33 for hotel rooms.

Documents released by the Secret Service redact the rate that was charged per room. The redaction was marked with a code indicating that the information “could disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations.”

++++++++++++

 

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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The lawsuit against the president and his family for fraud in a marketing scheme is moving forward.
 

Quote

 

A federal judge on Monday allowed a federal lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump, his three eldest children and his company of collaborating with a fraudulent marketing scheme to prey on investors to proceed.

The lawsuit, originally filed in October 2018 and amended a few months later, alleges that in exchange for "secret" payments, Trump and three of his adult children used his former reality TV show "The Celebrity Apprentice" and other promotional events as vehicles to boost ACN Opportunity, a telecommunications marketing company linked to a nonprofit that used Trump's brand to appeal to teens.

The lawsuit also accuses the Trumps of having profited off the poor and vulnerable, as people looking "to enrich themselves by systematically defrauding economically marginalized people looking to invest in their educations, start their own small business, and pursue the American dream."

 

 

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Revealed: The Family Member Who Turned on Trump

The president’s niece Mary Trump is set to publish a tell-all this summer—and to reveal that she was a primary source for The New York Times’ investigation into Trump’s taxes.

***

Donald Trump’s niece, his deceased brother’s daughter, is set to publish a tell-all book this summer that will detail “harrowing and salacious” stories about the president, according to people with knowledge of the project.

Mary Trump, 55, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr. and eldest grandchild of Fred Trump Sr., is scheduled to release Too Much And Never Enough on Aug. 11, just weeks before the Republican National Convention.

One of the most explosive revelations Mary will detail in the book, according to people familiar with the matter, is how she played a critical role helping The New York Times print startling revelations about Trump’s taxes, including how he was involved in “fraudulent” tax schemes and had received more than $400 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire.

As she is set to outline in her book, Mary was a primary source for the paper's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation, supplying Fred Trump Sr.’s tax returns and other highly confidential family financial documentation to the paper. 

Details of the book are being closely guarded by its publisher, Simon & Schuster, but The Daily Beast has learned that Mary plans to include conversations with Trump’s sister, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, that contain intimate and damning thoughts about her brother, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

Mary Trump has kept out of the public eye and has not spoken publicly in decades—but in 2000, amidst a bitter family court battle over Fred Trump Sr.’s will, she told the New York Daily News, "Given this family, it would be utterly naive to say it has nothing to do with money. But for both me and my brother, it has much more to do with that our father [Fred Jr.] be recognized," she said.

Fred Trump Jr., the firstborn son and once the heir apparent to his father’s real estate empire, worked for Trans World Airlines after turning his back on the family business.

He died in 1981 aged just 42 from a heart attack owing to complications from his alcoholism, leaving behind a son, Fred the 3rd, and daughter Mary, who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

The circumstances of Fred Trump Jr.’s descent into alcoholism are also aired in the book, with allegations that Donald and Fred Trump Sr. contributed to his death and neglected him at critical stages of his addiction.

In a 2019 interview, Donald Trump admitted to pressuring his brother over his career choices but said he had come to regret it. “I do regret having put pressure on him,” Trump told The Washington Post. Discussing his brother and the family business Trump said it “was just something he was never going to want” to do. 

“It was just not his thing...  I think the mistake that we made was we assumed that everybody would like it. That would be the biggest mistake... There was sort of a double pressure put on him,” Trump admitted.

After Fred Jr.’s children brought their messy court case against the family—contesting their grandfather’s will and alleging it was “procured by fraud and undue influence” on the part of Donald and his siblings—they highlighted Donald’s callous treatment of family members as he, along with siblings Maryanne and Robert, cut off the medical benefits to his nephew’s sick child William, who was born with cerebral palsy. The move, the family said at the time, was payback for Mary and Fred the 3rd’s challenge to the will.

That court case produced a treasure trove of confidential and highly sensitive Trump family financial documents, including Fred Trump Sr.’s tax returns, which almost two decades later would fall into the hands of The New York Times and form the basis for one of the most stunning pieces of journalism in recent years. 

In June of 2019, The Daily Beast reported how The New York Times Trump tax team imploded when four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner David Barstow went rogue, aggressively pursuing a source of their groundbreaking investigation to ghostwrite their book and secure a six-figure payday—a move explicitly forbidden by the Times’ ethics rules.  

That story detailed how Barstow went behind his colleagues’ backs and pursued the source—who was not his source to begin with—even after his editors told him not to do the book. 

Barstow even went so far as to make a surprise visit to the source’s residence after they ceased communications with him, staying at least three hours, and ringing the front and back doorbells multiple times as the person hid in their home.

“The source was freaked out. The source felt invaded. They ended up hiding until he left the residence,” a person with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast at the time, adding that the source considered calling the police. 

While Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet backed Barstow over his questionable ethical decisions and Barstow claimed he acted appropriately, he soon left the paper to take up a position leading the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s investigative reporting program. 

At the time of publication, The Daily Beast did not name the source and took extensive measures to protect their identity. In the upcoming book, however, Mary Trump will out herself as a source for the Times and detail her involvement working with journalists Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig, and Barstow to crack the story, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

The book is sure to send shock waves through Washington and the Trump family just months before the election and it comes hot on the heels of John Bolton’s much-anticipated memoir. But unlike all the books by former Trump staffers, this is the first time a Trump family member has written a tell-all that is highly critical of the president.

The bad blood between President Trump and his niece dates back 20 years to the fight over Fred Trump Sr.’s will and the actions he took to cut off financial and medical support for her brother’s ill child. Now that feud is about to spill out into the public eye during a critical election year, with the president struggling to shore up his plummeting popularity.

“My aunt and uncles should be ashamed of themselves,” Mary Trump said about Donald Trump and his siblings in that rare 2000 interview, which provides a preview of the tone of her book. “I'm sure they are not.”

***

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4 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Revealed: The Family Member Who Turned on Trump

The president’s niece Mary Trump is set to publish a tell-all this summer—and to reveal that she was a primary source for The New York Times’ investigation into Trump’s taxes.

***

Donald Trump’s niece, his deceased brother’s daughter, is set to publish a tell-all book this summer that will detail “harrowing and salacious” stories about the president, according to people with knowledge of the project.

Mary Trump, 55, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr. and eldest grandchild of Fred Trump Sr., is scheduled to release Too Much And Never Enough on Aug. 11, just weeks before the Republican National Convention.

One of the most explosive revelations Mary will detail in the book, according to people familiar with the matter, is how she played a critical role helping The New York Times print startling revelations about Trump’s taxes, including how he was involved in “fraudulent” tax schemes and had received more than $400 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire.

As she is set to outline in her book, Mary was a primary source for the paper's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation, supplying Fred Trump Sr.’s tax returns and other highly confidential family financial documentation to the paper. 

Details of the book are being closely guarded by its publisher, Simon & Schuster, but The Daily Beast has learned that Mary plans to include conversations with Trump’s sister, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, that contain intimate and damning thoughts about her brother, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

Mary Trump has kept out of the public eye and has not spoken publicly in decades—but in 2000, amidst a bitter family court battle over Fred Trump Sr.’s will, she told the New York Daily News, "Given this family, it would be utterly naive to say it has nothing to do with money. But for both me and my brother, it has much more to do with that our father [Fred Jr.] be recognized," she said.

Fred Trump Jr., the firstborn son and once the heir apparent to his father’s real estate empire, worked for Trans World Airlines after turning his back on the family business.

He died in 1981 aged just 42 from a heart attack owing to complications from his alcoholism, leaving behind a son, Fred the 3rd, and daughter Mary, who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

The circumstances of Fred Trump Jr.’s descent into alcoholism are also aired in the book, with allegations that Donald and Fred Trump Sr. contributed to his death and neglected him at critical stages of his addiction.

In a 2019 interview, Donald Trump admitted to pressuring his brother over his career choices but said he had come to regret it. “I do regret having put pressure on him,” Trump told The Washington Post. Discussing his brother and the family business Trump said it “was just something he was never going to want” to do. 

“It was just not his thing...  I think the mistake that we made was we assumed that everybody would like it. That would be the biggest mistake... There was sort of a double pressure put on him,” Trump admitted.

After Fred Jr.’s children brought their messy court case against the family—contesting their grandfather’s will and alleging it was “procured by fraud and undue influence” on the part of Donald and his siblings—they highlighted Donald’s callous treatment of family members as he, along with siblings Maryanne and Robert, cut off the medical benefits to his nephew’s sick child William, who was born with cerebral palsy. The move, the family said at the time, was payback for Mary and Fred the 3rd’s challenge to the will.

That court case produced a treasure trove of confidential and highly sensitive Trump family financial documents, including Fred Trump Sr.’s tax returns, which almost two decades later would fall into the hands of The New York Times and form the basis for one of the most stunning pieces of journalism in recent years. 

In June of 2019, The Daily Beast reported how The New York Times Trump tax team imploded when four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner David Barstow went rogue, aggressively pursuing a source of their groundbreaking investigation to ghostwrite their book and secure a six-figure payday—a move explicitly forbidden by the Times’ ethics rules.  

That story detailed how Barstow went behind his colleagues’ backs and pursued the source—who was not his source to begin with—even after his editors told him not to do the book. 

Barstow even went so far as to make a surprise visit to the source’s residence after they ceased communications with him, staying at least three hours, and ringing the front and back doorbells multiple times as the person hid in their home.

“The source was freaked out. The source felt invaded. They ended up hiding until he left the residence,” a person with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast at the time, adding that the source considered calling the police. 

While Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet backed Barstow over his questionable ethical decisions and Barstow claimed he acted appropriately, he soon left the paper to take up a position leading the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s investigative reporting program. 

At the time of publication, The Daily Beast did not name the source and took extensive measures to protect their identity. In the upcoming book, however, Mary Trump will out herself as a source for the Times and detail her involvement working with journalists Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig, and Barstow to crack the story, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

The book is sure to send shock waves through Washington and the Trump family just months before the election and it comes hot on the heels of John Bolton’s much-anticipated memoir. But unlike all the books by former Trump staffers, this is the first time a Trump family member has written a tell-all that is highly critical of the president.

The bad blood between President Trump and his niece dates back 20 years to the fight over Fred Trump Sr.’s will and the actions he took to cut off financial and medical support for her brother’s ill child. Now that feud is about to spill out into the public eye during a critical election year, with the president struggling to shore up his plummeting popularity.

“My aunt and uncles should be ashamed of themselves,” Mary Trump said about Donald Trump and his siblings in that rare 2000 interview, which provides a preview of the tone of her book. “I'm sure they are not.”

***

I wonder if Donald will sue to stop publication of this book.

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I’m waiting for Tiffany’s book. I bet she has all kinds of insider tax knowledge. 

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Posted (edited)

Just a forgotten tidbit from 2016:

Donald Trump helped his father draft the will that cut out his brother Freddy's children almost entirely from the family fortune.

++++
 

Quote

 

In 1977, Donald asked Freddy to be the best man at his first wedding, to the Czech model Ivana Winklmayr, an honor Donald said he hoped would be “a good thing for him.” But the drinking continued, and four years later, Freddy was dead.

Over the next decades, Donald put the Trump name on skyscrapers, casinos and planes.

In 1999, the family patriarch died, and 650 people, including many real estate executives and politicians, crowded his funeral at Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue.

But the drama was hardly put to rest. Freddy’s son, Fred III, spoke at the funeral, and that night, his wife went into labor with their son, who developed seizures that led to cerebral palsy. The Trump family promised that it would take care of the medical bills.

Then came the unveiling of Fred Sr.’s will, which Donald had helped draft. It divided the bulk of the inheritance, at least $20 million, among his children and their descendants, “other than my son Fred C. Trump Jr.”

Freddy’s children sued, claiming that an earlier version of the will had entitled them to their father’s share of the estate, but that Donald and his siblings had used “undue influence” over their grandfather, who had dementia, to cut them out.

A week later, Mr. Trump retaliated by withdrawing the medical benefits critical to his nephew’s infant child.

“I was angry because they sued,” he explained during last week’s interview.

At the time, he attributed their exclusion from the will to his father’s “tremendous dislike” for Freddy’s ex-wife, Linda. She and Fred III declined to comment on the dispute.

Mr. Trump said that the litigation had been settled “very amicably” and that he was fond of Fred III, who works in real estate, though not for the Trump organization. He also said that, at 69, he had grown to appreciate his brother’s free spirit.

“He would have been an amazing peacemaker if he didn’t have the problem, because everybody loved him,” he said. “He’s like the opposite of me.”

 

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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