Americans vote on Tuesday to elect the next president of the United States with a limited view of the finances of Donald trump, especially those related to the project Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, as published by the North American version of Forbes.
The president of the United States himself hinted five years ago that something was wrong with this property. On September 21, 2015, Trump called the editor of the magazine Forbes USA, who spent several hours talking to him, listening to how the Republican leader inflated (and lied) about the value of his assets. His goal was to climb positions on the list of America’s richest 400 what Forbes USA produced annually.
What could be so urgent to take more time from the campaign that ultimately brought Trump to the White House? The Chicago project: the largest tower ever built and one of the ten tallest buildings in the country. However, instead of increasing its value, Trump insisted he was worthless. “If you want to zero it, that’s fine,” he said, several times.
Trump, who is known not to use e-mail, faxed a handwritten note insisting that “Chicago can be worth $ 0” – “CHICAGO CAN BE $ 0— (ZERO).”
Why was Trump insisting that this building was worth $ 0? Why did this concern you in the midst of a historic presidential campaign?
His actions are clues in a mystery. And the president’s biggest secret appears to be hidden near Lake Michigan.
A great mystery
Construction began on the Trump International Hotel & Tower 15 years ago, which was inaugurated in 2009, in the midst of the crisis. After several comings and goings regarding loans, The great mystery of the Trump Tower in Chicago focuses on the current debts of the building.
In 2015, Trump submitted his first financial disclosure report as a candidate for the presidency of the United States. In the liabilities section he listed two loans against the Chicago tower. One of them was a debt of 45 million dollars with Deutsche Bank. The value of the other was more difficult to discern: the document lists it as «more than 50 million dollars«, Without being more specific.
This is where things get tricky. The second loan creditor it was a company called Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC. Elsewhere in the report, Trump noted that he was the owner of Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC. So, in other words, one of his companies was apparently lending money to another.
Given that the debt was worth more than $ 50 million, it would make sense for Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC to be worth more than $ 50 million. But instead, Trump put the asset value between $ 1,001 and $ 15,000.
Every year since then, the president has recorded no value on his financial statements. “There should be a compensatory entry somewhere”said Harvard professor Richard Peiser. “I can’t explain that”, he assured.
Trump offered a partial explanation in an interview with the New York Times in 2016. “Mr. Trump said that he acquired this loan himself from a group of banks several years ago,” the newspaper wrote. Instead of withdrawing it, He decided to keep it pending, and he pays the interest to himself.»
But the financial disclosure reports do not show any income for Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC, suggesting that Trump does not actually pay the interest on the loan himself. And in the same interview with him New York Times, Trump offered a puzzling explanation as to why he doesn’t mention any value to the LLC. “We do not value it because we do not care”, said. I have the mortgage. That’s all there is. Very simple. I am the bank.
Lender in the ‘resorts’
Documents filed in the UK in 2019 show that Trump also loaned about $ 200 million to two of his resorts golf abroadBut those debts, unlike the Chicago loan, have never appeared in the US President’s financial disclosure reports.
Determined to unravel the enigma, Forbes USA spent months researching all of this in 2018, reaching over 200 people and interviewing over 50. In the end, none of them could give a definitive answer.
However, many of the sources offered theories:
- That someone could just have committed a error in documents. That doesn’t seem very likely, given that the documents include the same inconsistencies year after year.
- What Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC May Owe Money to Mysterious Third Person, which could write off the value of the debt you have to Trump, making the net worth zero. The New York Accountant Mark Feldstein pointed out a possible advantage of structuring a loan in this way: “It would be a way of disguising who is borrowing from.
Conspiracies against Trump
All of this provides fertile ground for conspiracy theorists. So Russ Choma of Mother Jones published Two Important Stories About Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC. The first, in 2017, suggested that the loan could be a sign of a secret lender for Trump. The second, he theorized that perhaps Trump could have used Chicago Unit Acquisition as part of a tax fraud scheme. Choma suggested that the president of the United States could have acted as if the debt remained in the hands of Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC and, therefore, avoid paying taxes.
What results is a long list of unanswered questions: Did Trump account for all forgiven debt correctly? Is Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC A Way To Hide A Mysterious Lender? What else could explain the enigma? And why are Trump and his representatives acting so strangely about all this?
It seems clear that the president is hiding something. In the annual net worth statements that the Trump Organization prepares for the president, Chicago property hasn’t turned up since 2009, according to the New York attorney general.
For its part, Patrick Birney, who works in the finance department of the Trump Organization, has suggested that the debt against the Chicago building is only $ 45 million, completely ignoring the loan from Chicago Unit Acquisition LLC.
And in 2017, Forbes USA asked a Trump Organization executive about the mysterious moneylender. The executive initially deflected questions until he finally claimed, in perfectly clear English, that his phone connection was going down.