Now we have a little more context for why Donald Trump lashed out so vulgarly at Haiti yesterday, and why he so adamantly opposed the idea of anyone from Haiti immigrating to the United States. Yes, we all know Trump is a racist. But he’s also spent his career using his real estate properties to launder money for some of the worst criminals on earth. Just before Trump’s attack on Haiti, he may have gotten word that Haiti has accused him of money laundering.
This morning BuzzFeed published a lengthy expose into Trump’s money laundering operations, which included this passage near the end: “The Haitian government claimed in the 1980s that ousted dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier laundered stolen treasury funds when he bought Trump Tower apartment 54-K for $446,875 in August 1983. Duvalier used a Panama shell company called Lasa Trade and Finance to buy the apartment in cash. Trump signed the deed of sale.” (link). It’s likely that BuzzFeed would have called Trump’s White House before publishing this story to get him to comment on it.
Of course there is nothing new about this accusation; Haiti asserted it decades ago. But it’s difficult to look past the timing here. Trump finds out that a major U.S. news outlet is about to publish a story about Haiti having accused him of money laundering, and immediately thereafter, he calls Haiti a “shithole.”
We all know that Donald Trump is a racist. We all know that he doesn’t need specific motivation in order to say racist things. But it sure sounds like his profane racist tirade against Haiti was at least partially motivated by his paranoid fear of being taken down for money laundering. In other words, this whole saga between Trump and Haiti just found a way to be even uglier, which didn’t seem possible.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report