Donald Trump’s debt problem is two fold. The first is a money problem: he’s so deeply in debt to various banks around the world that the billions he’s been documented owing to these banks may well exceed the value of his assets — which would mean he’s broke. The second is a perception problem: his financial debt to Russia, combined with allegations that Russia is blackmailing him, and his oddly pro-Russia political policies, create a perception problem. Now it turns out these two problems may be the same thing.
One of the institutions Donald Trump is deeply in debt to is a German bank known as Deutsche Bank. It has a rocky history over the past decade of high risk investments and financial instability which mirror those of Trump’s own finances. At last count, Trump owed Deutsche Bank and its subsidiaries a combined $1.3 billion. It never made sense why the bank in question, which has been struggling financially, would have loaned so much money to Trump — who has a long history of not repaying his debts.
In fact the loan from Deutsche Bank is almost certainly one of the primary reasons Trump hasn’t fallen into personal bankruptcy over the past seven years, after American banks stopped loaning him money. And now according to the Independent, it turns out the German bank in question has been busted for running a Russian money laundering scheme.
The money laundering scheme in question involved Deutsche Bank clients illegally moving more than $10 billion out of Russia and into New York among other places. Nothing has yet been publicly disclosed about the identities of these clients, whom they were working with in Russia, or their motives. But the first thing that comes to mind is the possibility that the money which Deutsche Bank loaned to Donald Trump may have illegally come from Moscow.
This is crucial because, while Trump’s massive debts to banks in places like Germany and China have been well documented, there is no definitive evidence that Russian banks have been loaning money to Trump. Donald Trump Jr bragged awhile back that money was pouring into the Trump Organization from Russia, but despite that admission, Russian banks have made a point of covering up whatever money they’ve been putting in Trump’s pocket, and how they’ve been doing it.
And so a German bank inexplicably put more than a billion dollars into Donald Trump’s pocket, even though it’s been struggling financially, and he’s long been known for not repaying his debts to the point that other banks long ago stopped keeping him afloat. It never made sense why Deutsche Bank would have taken such a risk it couldn’t afford. Except now it turns out Deutsche Bank was secretly funneling money from Russia to New York. It’s not proof, but it’s one hell of a new perception problem for Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report