Donald Trump’s greatest humiliation

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Parking lot lawyer Alina Habba was a tad hasty when, about ten days ago, she volunteered in a Newsmax interview that Donald Trump had more than enough money to meet his appellate bond. “I mean he does — of course he has money,” Habba said. “I mean, he’s a billionaire.” Habba had to eat those words Wednesday after admitting that the former president did not have the cash bond required to appeal his fraud trial ruling in New York. Oops.

But the minor embarrassment Habba had to deal with is nothing compared to the abject humiliation and horror that Trump himself must endure. For Trump, money is everything, the very brick and mortar that holds his colossal ego together. For someone who is possibly the most hypersensitive person in public life, that’s saying a lot. Money is the one thing in Trump’s precarious universe that he absolutely must appear to have.

Nor is this massive insecurity about the appearance of wealth anything new. Back in 1984, Forbes Magazine writer Jonathan Greenberg recalled that he received a phone call from someone calling himself “Barron.” The caller had a thicker New York accent and spoke with deliberately modified cadences, but Greenberg is certain he was speaking to the future president. Trump employed such poorly executed deceptions to guarantee himself a place on Forbes’ list of richest Americans.

Once Trump received the Republican nomination for president in 2016, his refusal to disclose his tax returns became a major campaign issue, something every candidate since Nixon did without fail. Trump’s lame excuse, that he would “love to release his tax returns” but couldn’t because he was under audit by the IRS, was directly contradicted by the IRS itself. So he finally promised to release his tax returns after the election, a claim he never voluntarily made good on.

What’s more, Trump fought like hell in court to keep those tax returns from being released. Infuriatingly, no reporter ever asked the obvious question: “Mr president, since you continue to claim that you can’t release your taxes because you are under audit, and that claim was contradicted over and over by the IRS, and you are now fighting in court to keep them secret, what are you hiding and why do you keep lying about it?” I repeatedly reported my frustration in the pages of Palmer Report that no one ever asked that question, but in the end, no one ever did.

Of course, we later learned why Trump kept his tax returns private. Thanks to partial returns published in the New York Times, we discovered that not only was Trump not as rich as he claimed, he had even at one time been billions in debt for nearly a decade. At one point Donald Trump was poorer than every single American he ever bragged to about his wealth. It’s even possible that at one point Donald Trump, a man in love with hyperbole about himself, was the poorest man in the history of the world. To coin a phrase, nobody has ever seen anything like it.

Even more than that, Donald Trump’s personal fortunes have fallen further, faster and from a greater height than anyone in history that I can personally recall. He has gone from the pinnacle of fame and success, president of the United States, to a man facing indictments in four jurisdictions and a staggering 91 felony counts. He has been judicially labelled a rapist, lost hundreds of millions in civil judgments and he faces the prospect of dying in prison. To add the greatest insult to staggering injury, Trump, it turns out, might also be poor.

So despite all the many horrors this past year has revealed, it may very well be that Donald Trump being exposed as a cash poor non-billionaire could be his biggest nightmare of all. When all the bullshit and bravado is stripped away, Donald Trump is revealed as the thing we always knew he was, a loser. Trump’s final humiliation might even one day equal the staggering injury he has inflicted on America, and that will be the greatest triumph of justice of all. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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