Donald Trump regularly releases statements to the media these days usually consisting of lies, attacks on adversaries, and praise for his corrupt allies. Here at Palmer Report we make a point of ignoring nearly all of Trump’s statements. After all, he’s banned from social media for good reason.
But last night Trump did release the rare statement that might be worth examining, if only because it’s curiously timed and it addresses his own finances. Trump announced that he’s taken a $1.2 billion loan against a skyscraper he co-owns in San Francisco, which is considered his most valuable remaining asset (many or most of his assets are underwater, and he has no ownership in most of the buildings with his name on them).
The details of the deal look fairly run of the mill. What’s more interesting is the timing. This week the New York Attorney General’s office announced it’s running a criminal investigation into the finances of the Trump Organization, on top of the Manhattan District Attorney’s existing criminal investigation into the finances of Donald Trump. In response, Trump suddenly wants us to know he’s taken out a billion dollar loan.
So why is he desperate for the world to know that he’s going even deeper into debt? Keep in mind that for the past decade-plus, Trump has had an increasingly difficult time getting financial institutions to loan him money, thanks to his consistent habit of not paying his debts. He eventually had to turn to overseas banks to keep him afloat, which created a huge conflict of interest while he was in office. Since the insurrection, even some of his remaining banks have announced they’re cutting him off. And now he’s under criminal investigation for his finances, making him even more radioactive.
Perhaps Trump is making a point of announcing his new loan because he wants other banks to know that there’s at least one financial institution out there that’s still willing to do business with him. Of course Trump didn’t bother to say who the investor is, raising questions about what’s really going on here. If it were a respectable financial institution, one would think that Trump would mention its name while bragging that he managed to get a loan from it. So it makes you wonder where this money is coming from.
Then again, maybe this is something else. Trump now knows that his every financial move is being watched and investigated in real time by criminal prosecutors. So if this is some kind of corrupt or shady new financial transaction, maybe Trump is just trying to put his own spin on it before prosecutors can put their own spin on it.
In any case, it’s worth keeping in mind that the most relevant narrative with regard to Donald Trump going forward will be the dismantling of his life via criminal charges, asset forfeitures, and financial implosion. So it’s worth watching what’s going on with his finances, and even perhaps what he has to say about his finances, even while tuning out his ongoing partisan political babble.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report