Trump inherited 27K NYC properties, is thrice divorced, has 2 dozen failed businesses, and declared bankruptcy 5 times, vows to run U.S. like his own life
While welcomed by republican party to presidential race, opinion polls find him less popular than colonoscopies, traffic jams, and cockroaches
By Nate Thayer
June 16, 2015
The American political silly season promises to be equally entertaining, alarming, and embarrassing.
What is all three is Donald Trump announcing today he is running for president.
“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” he said today, calling America a “laughing stock all over the world.”
“I’m really rich,” he said. “Sadly the American dream is dead,” said the self-described self-made man who started with nothing but 27,000 New York City properties he inherited from his millionaire slumlord father when he turned 18 years old.
Trump has declared himself the answer to reviving the American dream and economic opportunity for its citizens.
In contrast, a 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found Trump less popular than colonoscopies, traffic jams and cockroaches.
What is embarrassing is the U.S. republican party is promoting him as a serious presidential contender, where he is tied in opinion polls to former U.S. senator Rick Santorum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former New York Gov. George Pataki, and has more support than Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
In 2011 Trump became a “birther”, declaring that President Obama was not born in the U.S., but rather was Kenyan and thus constitutionally ineligible for the office of President.
2012 republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney accepted Trump’s endorsement, appearing in public embracing Trump in February 2012, less than a year after Trump launched his “birther” crusade against President Obama. Trump campaigned for Republicans during the 2014 mid-term elections.
Trump was an honored guest at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s “First-in-the-National Leadership Summit’ in March 2015. He received a standing ovation at a republican party held summit for presidential candidates in Iowa earlier in 2015. He was a featured guest at the republican party presidential candidates crucial Conservative Political Action Committee annual convention in March. In April 2015, a Monmouth University poll ranked Trump ahead of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rick Perry and Chris Christie in presidential polls.
In May, he won a “Statesman of the Year” award from the Republican Party in Sarasota, Florida.
Let’s cut to the chase: Donald Trump is an idiot–regardless of his politics.
And Donald Trump’s politics are that of a racist demagogue who represents that darkest side of a Wall Street shyster who, arguably, in any properly organized society, would be in prison.
Trump was welcomed into the republican party presidential race by party leaders today.
But while Trump portrays himself as an icon of savvy economics and a populist political thinker, his record tells a very different story.
Trump represents the economic model practiced by back alley small time mafia thugs dressed up in Wall Street suits and garish, self promoting wealth, base simple-minded intolerance, and hucksters.
Trump is probably best known as the blowhard Kim Kardashianesq American success story of reality TV (“You’re fired!”) who sports a bleached raccoon carcass on his head.
One question is why the republican party is welcoming him as a viable representative of their political game plan for the next president of the United States of America.
“When is the last time we beat Japan at anything?” he said today, apparently unaware that World War Two occurred.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.”
“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall,” he vowed today.
Another question is why the man is not in prison. Because the facts indicate that Donald Trump is, in fact, a serial failed businessman indictable for innumerable white-collar crimes that would have landed me or you in prison many times over, long ago.
Before Donald Trump’s father died, he had bailed Donald Trump out twice from his inherited business enterprises. Since, Donald Trump has declared bankruptcy 4 times on his own.
His corporations have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times. Trump has learned the lesson of getting rich in America: never take personal responsibility for your own actions–or finances.
Trump’s bean counters made sure that when he plummeted to a billion dollars in debt it was his corporations who filed bankruptcy and he could still maintain: “I have never filed bankruptcy.”
In Chapter 11 bankruptcies, the owners’ personal assets and credit history are unaffected. Trump keeps his personal money separate from his business money. If any average citizen did what Trump has done, we would be in prison.
Donald Trump has filed for corporate bankruptcy five times, in 1991, 1992, 2004, 2009, and 2014, all part of his showcase Trump Entertainment Resorts, the showcase of his collapsed economic acumen. He has never filed for personal bankruptcy.
Trump financed the construction of the business empire, the Atlantic City, New Jersey Trump Taj Mahal, with junk bonds and was unable to pay the high interest. By 1990, Trump’s business skills had amassed debts of $4 billion, including $975 million he personally guaranteed.
In 1991, unable to pay a $3.5 billion loan, he declared business bankruptcy. He was $900 million in personal debt, selling his Trump Princess yacht, his Trump Shuttle airline, and other investments. He learned his lesson then, and ever since has hid the risk of his business dealings behind the protection of corporate entities. “I’ve cut debt — by the way, this isn’t me personally, it’s a company,” Trump said. “Basically I’ve used the laws of the country to my advantage.”
Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., a casino company founded in the 1980s, which ran the Taj Mahal, the Trump Plaza and the Trump Marina in Atlantic City, N.J., has declared bankruptcy 4 times.
In 1992, Trump filed Chapter 11 on the Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City, owing $550 million. Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts again filed for bankruptcy in 2004 with $1.8 billion dollars of debt.
As part of that deal, Trump kept three casino properties in New Jersey, along with the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and a then-undeveloped West Side tract, kept some of the Trump Towers on Fifth Ave., and the Trump Palace condo tower on Third Ave. He had to give up the Trump Shuttle airline, a 49% stake in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, his 282-foot yacht, a 27% stake in the retail store Alexander’s and portions of the Trump Parc on Central Park South, records show.
His creditors put him on a $450,000 monthly allowance. In 1995, his salary from the Trump Plaza was upped to $1 million.
In 2004, Trump declared bankruptcy again, after eight years of losses and $1.8 billion in debt, and reduced his share in his own company to 27%, leaving bondholders with 65%. After Trump filed bankruptcy for the second time on his casinos, he remained chairman and CEO and kept his $2 million dollar salary. In 2005, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts came out of bankruptcy and renamed itself Trump Entertainment Resort Holdings.
Trump sued Deutsche Bank to get out of a $40 million loan during the 2008 financial crisis saying it was a ‘act of God’.
In 2009, Trump Entertainment Resorts again filed for bankruptcy with a debt ratio of $50 million in assets to his $500 million in debt. This was the third bankruptcy for Trump Enterprises.
In February 2009, Trump filed for bankruptcy again, telling Fox News: “I have nothing to do with [the bankruptcy]. I have nothing to do with the company. I am not involved in the management of the company. I’m not on the board any longer.” The same day he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “We quit before it was filed … I was not involved with the management of the company. It represents less than 1% – substantially less than 1% of my net worth and has for quite some time …The one bad thing is, it has got my name on it, which I’m not exactly thrilled about.”
While resigning from Trump Entertainment, later in 2009 he bought back the company for $100 million and the company was released from bankruptcy in 2010.
In 2010, Trump once again blamed others while raking in the cash. “Other than the fact that it has my name on it — which I’m not thrilled about — I have nothing to do with the company,” he said.
“I’ve come out almost always as the victor, and I have to say that. Because, you know, I don’t want to be braggadocio, but that’s the kind of person, whether it’s me or somebody else,” the country needs as president, he said.
In September, 2014 Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. again filed bankruptcy. Trump Plaza also closed down in September, 2014 and the Trump Taj Mahal casino closed 2 months ago in November, putting 2,800 workers out of jobs.
Trump, once again, blamed other people for the failure of his businesses. “What happened to Atlantic City, there’s a lot of competition from a lot of other locations. It’s happening all over.”
Trump and the Military Draft
Trump was a “start athlete” according to Trump, at the New York Military Academy, where he graduated at age 18 in 1964. According to The Smoking Gun, Trump registered with the draft and was designated “1A” – fully fit to serve in the military.
In 1964, he entered college and maintained a college deferment until he graduated in 1968.
During a New York television interview, Trump detailed how, in 1968, his military draft number was so high that he would not be drafted.
“I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number. I’ll never forget, that was an amazing period of time in my life. I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to.”
The problem is there was no draft numbers in 1968. They were not started until December 1969. By the time his number was drawn during the December 1, 1969 draft lottery, Trump had already received four student deferments and a medical deferment, according to military records on file with the National Archives and Records Administration, according to Smoking Gun and documents.
So for 18 months, Trump was in the pool of draft eligible men because he was no longer in college and working, allegedly, for his rich father’s real estate company.
Trump obtained his first two Class 2-S student deferments in June 1964 and December 1965, when he was student at Fordham University in the Bronx. He was briefly reclassified as 1-A–or “available for military service”–in late-November 1966, but that classification was switched back to 2-S three weeks later.
Another 2-S deferment is dated January 16, 1968, just months before his graduation from UPenn (to which he transferred following his sophomore year at Fordham).
Following his UPenn graduation, Trump–no longer qualified for a 2-S deferment–was again briefly classified as available for service on July 9. However, three months later, on October 15, his classification was switched to 1-Y, which was given to men deemed qualified for military service “only in time of national emergency.”
The 1-Y classification came a month after Trump underwent an “Armed Forces Physical Examination,” according to Selective Service records, which note the results of the exam as “DISQ.” While the military records do not further detail why Trump was granted the 1-Y deferment, a 1992 biography of the businessman by journalist Wayne Barrett reported that Trump received a medical deferment following the September 17, 1968 exam.
Trump’s 1-Y classification stayed in effect until February 1, 1972 when it was changed to a 4-F classification (which covered registrants not qualified for military service). The change in classification was likely prompted by the military’s December 1971 decision to abolish the 1-Y classification.
Instead, the former “star athlete” was given a 4-F medical deferment.
The “Birther” Trump, who launched a shrill campaign accusing President Obama of faking his birth certificate, has thus far refused to release his military deferment records which allowed him to avoid serving in Vietnam.
Which raises the question: “What was wrong with Trump? Is he cured? Is he medically fit to serve as this nation’s commander-in-chief?,” asked the CrowleyPoliticalReport.com.
Trump and other political stances
In April 2006, Trump said he was expanding his real estate business into mortgages.Trump told CNBC, “Who knows more about financing than me?”
Apparently, plenty. By 2008, Trump Mortgage was shuttered. It turns out Trump had hired one E.J. Ridings, who claimed to have been a top investment bank executive as CEO when Ridings’ had been a real estate broker for only six days. So much for the TV ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ genius businessman hype.
Trump the Racist
In 1973, the U.S. Justice Department sued Trump Management Corporation, which Trump was president, for racial bias against blacks.
After a white female jogger was raped in Central Park in 1989, Trump paid for full-page newspaper ads demanding the death penalty for four black youths arrested but not yet convicted. All of them were later proved to be not guilty and received multi-million dollar settlements for the accusations.
In a 1991 book on Trump, authored by the president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, Trump was quoted as saying “laziness is a trait in blacks” and “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”
In 2011, during his last flirtation with the U.S. presidency, Trump said “I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.” At the time, Trump said the only reason Obama was admitted to Harvard Law School was because he is black.
In June, 2013, Trump tweeted: “According to Bill O’Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks-if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%, 1% white” and “Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics tough subject-must be discussed”.
Trump and Jews
In April, 2013, after being criticized by Jon Stewart of the The Daily Show: “I promise you that I’m much smarter than Jonathan Leibowitz – I mean Jon Stewart @TheDailyShow. Who, by the way, is totally overrated.”
Trump and the World
In August of 2014, Trump said two American doctors who contracted Ebola in West Africa should not be permitted to return to America for treatment because “they have to suffer the consequences.”
Trump and China
In 2010, Trump told Fox News “The problem with our country is we don’t manufacture anything anymore. The stuff that’s been sent over from China falls apart after a year and a half. It’s crap.” But in fact, Trump had created a clothing line which was made in China.
Trump and the Middle East
In 2011, Trump laid out his Middle East Policy. Regarding Saudi Arabia, he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos “I’m going to look ’em in the eye and say, “Fellas, you’d have your fun. Your fun is over” and then laid out his Iraq policy suggesting that the U.S. simply seize Iraqi oil fields and keep the money.
“So, we steal an oil field?” said Stephanopoulos.
“Excuse me. You’re not stealing anything. You’re taking — we’re reimbursing ourselves,” Trump said.
Trump and his Failed Business Career
In 2005, Trump University was launched, a for-profit but non-accredited school where Trump was to teach his brand of business genius for $35,000 from each student. “I went to the Wharton School of Finance … I have a great feeling for education and for knowledge and learning … I love the idea of helping people, because I’ve had a lot of experience with real estate, to put it mildly,” he told the New York Times.
“Albert Einstein believed that a ‘Theory of Everything’ in physics unified the four primal forces of nature: gravity, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, and electromagnetic force. Our unifying theory for sustainable success in business is so much simpler. […] The Customer Is Everything!” read the “Trump University Entrepreneurship 101” official book.
In 2010, four students sued the “university” for “offering classes that amounted to extended ‘infomercials,’ ‘selling non-accredited products,’ and ‘taking advantage of these troubled economic times to prey on consumer’s fears.'”
Trump then changed the name of the “university” to “The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.” The business officially ended operations in 2011.
In 2013, the New York Attorney General sued Trump and Trump University for defrauding students. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against Trump accusing him of defrauding more than 5,000 people of $40 million he promised to teach them his get rich techniques at his “Trump University”–a ‘free introductory 90-minute presentation’ to build a real estate empire which was in fact an advert for a three-day, $1,500 seminar which offered people “elite” further seminars costing from $10,000 to $35,000.
Trump Mortgage Co. was created in 2006 and shuttered the next year. He appointed his son to head it who declared it would be the No. 1 home-loan lender in the US. “I think it’s a great time to start a mortgage company … who knows about financing better than I do?” he told CNBC then. Then the housing market crashed in 2007 and the mortgage company did shortly afterwards. Trump’s mortgage company was shut down after a year and a half, wrote Time magazine.
In 2007, Trump created “Trump Steaks” for the Sharper Image catalogue distributer. The prices ranged from $199 for a pack of 12 steak burgers and four steaks, all the way up to $999 for a selection of 16 top cuts. “When it comes to great steaks, I’ve just raised the stakes! … Trump Steaks are the world’s greatest steaks … Treat yourself to the very, very best life has to offer … One bite and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. And believe me: I understand steaks. They’re my favorite food,” said Trump at the time. The related “Trump Steakhouse” in Las Vegas was shut down after being cited for 51 health code violations, including expired yogurt and five-month old duck. The entire business has since folded, according to, Business Wire.
In 2006, Trump created the “Trump Vodka” line. “By the summer of ’06, I fully expect the most called for cocktail in America to be the T&T or the Trump and Tonic,” he declared then. That lasted until 2011, when it collapsed, according to the Gothamist.
In 1989, Trump created “Trump: The Game”. “Parker Brothers and Donald Trump are challenging consumers to determine whether they have the brains and the brawn to be the next Donald Trump with the launch of TRUMP the Game, the new high-stakes board game, where if you play your cards right, you can make hundreds of millions of dollars, just like The Donald,” said Trump at the time. It sold about 800,000 copies, less than half of the 2 million Trump had forecast, and was discontinued. Based on the board game Monopoly, it collapsed within a year. After his TV show “the Apprentice” aired, he revived the game, according to Time Magazine. Hasbro released a reboot of the game, complete with the slogan “You’re Fired!” on the cover.
Trump marketed his own line of bottled water called “Trump Ice”, which shuttered its operation in 2010. Sold mainly at his casinos, Trump said then “it was so good that people wanted to buy cases of it!” Although Trump still says you can find Trump Ice at “specialty food stores and grocery chains nationwide”,in fact the product has been discontinued because of poor sales, according to New York Magazine.
In 2006, Trump started GoTrump.com, a search engine for bargains on luxury travel deals powered by Travelocity.com. Trumps said “It doesn’t matter how rich you are. You don’t want to be a fool and you want to get the best deal. But people who aren’t rich want to associate with rich, and that’s why this thing has become so crazy. When you get millions of people using your service, and you get X dollars per person, it adds up to a lot of money.” But GoTrump.com was “ripped apart by critics, and it was shut down” in less than a year, in 2007, wrote the New York Times.
In 2007, Trump launched “Trump Magazine”, but it lasted less than two years. “The quarterly magazine saw early success, cashing in on the booming advertising market for yachts and other high-end commodities,” read a PR release. His daughter, Ivanka Trump, was featured on the cover of the premier issue. The magazine was shut down in 2009.
In 1983, Trump started the New Jersey Generals, a United States Football League team. He sold the team within months, but repurchased it again in 1984. It–and the entire U.S. Football League collapsed the next year, 1985. Other team owners blamed Trump for not only the collapse of his team, but the entire league. Trump responded “Without me, the USFL would have been dead immediately. It was a league that was failing badly … I did something I rarely do with the USFL. I went into something that was not good, not established. And it was failing. I knew that but I also went in for cheap. I bought something for peanuts.”
In 1989, Trump started Trump Airlines after purchasing the then on life support Eastern Air Shuttle, which ran flights between Boston and New York and Washington, D.C. Trump tried to make the Shuttle into a luxury carrier. It collapsed and Trump defaulted on his loans. “It worked out well for me … I ran an airline for a couple of years and made a couple of bucks. The airline business is a tough business, [but] I did great with it,” was Trump’s analysis of the investment. It closed for good in 1992.
Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for corporate bankruptcy four times–1991, 2004, 2009, and 2014. The first time was after the Trump Taj Mahal’s construction in 1991. The next time was in 2004, when it “filed for voluntary bankruptcy after accumulating $1.8 billion in debt.” Next came 2008-2009, when the company missed a $53.1 million bond interest payment. (The stock dropped to 23 cents per share from $4.
Trump himself had formally left the company in 2009 right before it declared bankruptcy for the third time. “There are plenty of bankers you could find that would not do business with Donald Trump again,” says Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine.”
And finally, in September 2014, the company filed for bankruptcy once again.
“I don’t like the ‘B’ word,” said Trump, claiming he “had nothing to do with running the company.”
In 2006, Trump created Trump Tower Tampa, one of a series of buildings called “Donald Trump developments.” It failed the next year.
but ultimately never became anything. One of these is Trump Tower Tampa. The project collapsed and buyers lost millions. It was sold in 2011 for $5 million.Trump later claimed he only licensed his name to other developers. “[The buyers] were better off losing their deposit,” said Trump to the Wall Street Journal.
Trump and Bankruptcy
In 2011, the Wall Street Journal interviewed Trump:
Q: Should someone who filed for bankruptcy multiple times be running national finances at a time when we have a big debt problem?
T: I’ve never filed for bankruptcy.
Trump is sort of not lying. He has never filed personal bankruptcy.
But Trump’s wealth and “success” is a blueprint for socializing his losses and ‘free-marketing’ his profits.
His company is Donald Trump; his personal brand of which he wants to poison the rest of the country.
The truth is Trump went broke in 1990. What Trump is selling is all he has: Himself. presidential candidate Trump says America needs a President who is a “winner, not a loser”. Donald Trump’s real business is as a television huckster. As a businessman, he is, in fact a failure, perhaps sharing that distinction with George W. Bush.
“Look, if you look at bankruptcies, I’ve used the laws of this country to, on a very few relatively speaking, number of deals to chapter a certain company in order to negotiate debt…”
He told a Tea Party rally in Florida in 2012 he was a master businessman whose financial prowess qualified him to lead the free world. “We need people that win. We don’t need people that lose all the time. I’ve beaten many people and companies, and I’ve won many wars. I … earned many, many billions of dollars. It’s both a scorecard and an acknowledgment of certain abilities.”
In 2013, he told the Washington Post that he “never went bankrupt.”
“How many billions do you have?” Trump was asked.
“What do they say? 9,” Trump replied.
“Forbes said $3.2,” said Mary Jordan of the Washington Post.
“I say 9. It’s a big difference,” Trump replied. “I say 9 but that’s OK. I don’t know. Whatever it is, it is. It’s plenty of money.”
So, the record appears to show that Donald Trump is a common huckster and an idiot, if not a criminal.
The real question is why one of the biggest political parties in the United States–the Republican Party–is giving this embarrassment an endorsement and a platform to run for president on their political parties ticket?
On the bright side, there is the fact that the American people, unlike the political campaign apparatchiks class, according to that 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found Trump less popular than colonoscopies, traffic jams and cockroaches.