During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump touted himself as a “self-made billionaire” who, with a small loan of $1 million, built up his own business empire with a series of strategic moves, smart investments and hard work. He was adamant that his father’s millions had nothing to do with his success and that he paid back what was originally lent to him. Well, in a shocking turn of events, it looks like Donald Trump may have lied.
A newly-published investigation by the New York Times alleges that the now-president received more than $413 million dollars, by today’s standards, from father Fred C. Trump, starting at the tender age of three-years-old, making him a millionaire by the age of eight. It also reveals that most of that money was attained in the 1990s when Trump and his siblings reportedly set up several sham corporations to help their parents dodge taxes.
According to the report, Donald was also key in creating a scheme to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings on their tax returns so as to lessen the taxes they would have to pay on them when they were transferred to the Trump children in the form of gifts. The records obtained by the Times reportedly show that the Trumps paid about 10 percent of the amount they would have been required to without the scheme.
The article states, “President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud.” What was it that got Al Capone, again?
As for that “small loan” of $1 million, the investigation puts the grand total of loans paid to Donald Trump by his father for business ventures at $60.7 million or $140 million, when adjusted for inflation. Much of that was not paid back and Fred often ended up as a silent partner while his son spun the myth of the self-made billionaire.
And this isn’t the first time that myth has been called out. Earlier this year, former Forbes reporter Jonathan Greenberg released the recording of a 1984 phone call made to him by someone who sounds eerily similar to Donald Trump. The man claims to be named John Barron and assures Greenberg that Trump is a billionaire and should be included on the Forbes 400 list.
The Times gathered information through “interviews with Fred Trump’s former employees and advisers and more than 100,000 pages of documents describing the inner workings and immense profitability of his empire.” Those documents were from both public sources (like financial disclosure reports and civil court files) as well as confidential (bank statements, accounting ledgers and invoices).
POTUS’s younger brother, Robert Trump, released a statement on behalf of the family that their father and mother’s estates were closed in 2001 and 2004 respectively and that “all appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid.” He added that they have no further comment and that they “would appreciate your respecting the privacy of our deceased parents, may God rest their souls.”
Donald did not respond before the story’s publication but his lawyer issued a statement to the Times saying the allegations are “100 percent false” and “There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone.” Of course, once the article came out and people started talking about it, Trump came out on Twitter to call the “Failing New York Times” report a “very old, boring and often told hit piece.”
The Failing New York Times did something I have never seen done before. They used the concept of “time value of money” in doing a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me. Added up, this means that 97% of their stories on me are bad. Never recovered from bad election call!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2018
The Times is standing by its reporting, however, even when a Trump lawyer threatened to file a defamation lawsuit. Susanne Craig, one of the three reporters who contributed to the piece, told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America that she’s “not at all” concerned about legal action.
Trump, who’s long claimed to be a self-made billionaire, along with his siblings, allegedly helped hide millions in gifts from their parents using fake corporations to hide the money, according to a NYT report. https://t.co/XDuh7ECYzn@NYTimes‘ @susannecraig joins us live. pic.twitter.com/nnJ32485QC
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 3, 2018