Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How Trump broke the trust of Americans and lost his legitimacy ... by gimleteye

According to a Reuters analysis of Trump-related properties in South Florida, “Moscow on the Beach: Russian elite invested nearly $100 million in Trump buildings”, (June 20, 2017), "... at least 703 – or about one-third – of the owners of the 2044 units in the seven Trump buildings are limited liability companies, or LLCs, which have the ability to hide the identity of a property’s true owner. And the nationality of many buyers could not be determined.”

The eye opener is that 63 Russian nationals identified are only about 8 percent of Trump property investors who are LLC’s. "Russian-Americans who did not use a Russian address or passport in their purchases were not included in the tally." In other words, what facts could be established in a legitimate news report -- that nearly $100 million of Russian money is in Trump-related buildings in South Florida -- is the tip of the iceberg.

Limited liability corporations are legal tax pass-throughs that have the collateral benefit of shielding ownership from public view. It is no wonder that the Reuters investigation “found no wrong doing” and turned up only a few first-tier Russian players (for example, "a former executive in a Moscow-based state-run construction firm that works on military and intelligence facilities").

Hiding financial assets is part of the rigged system that prevent Americans from understanding the true facts of the Trump/Russia connection.

People complain about “fake news” and the mainstream media. The ability of influence peddlers to conceal identities is a major reason, why. The whole story can't be told. (We are intimately familiar with this problem, at Eye On Miami. See for yourself, by typing "LLC" in the search bar of our blog and read how frequently this issue crops up in our efforts to do detailed analyses of pressure politics in Miami and Florida by insiders and special interests.)

Dedicated readers can draw their own conclusions from an incomplete set of facts. Journalists can't. You can take it to the bank that the $100 million cited by the Reuters investigation is the tip of the iceberg. Reuters won’t say so, because it will only go so far as legitimate fact-based journalism will go. But we will venture our opinion: within the high number of LLC’s and concealed buyers of Trump related properties in South Florida, there are many big investors from Russia.

In 2016 Eye On Miami described the Obama administration initiative requiring disclosure of real estate transaction principals in a few test markets, including Miami: "The Best news of 2016"!)

The Obama White House move had big banks and real estate interests swearing under their breaths. It tacitly acknowledged foreign capital was distorting real estate markets. Obama wanted Americans to know, how much and by whom. Unfortunately, the program simply flagged bad actors to “stay off the streets” until it ended.

The Russians who invested in Trump South Florida properties know Trump knows, even though their identities have not been disclosed. You can be certain that Ivanka, Jared and Donald discussed these transaction as a routine matter of business. And Trump knows that LLC laws shield American voters from understanding his relationships to Russia just like tax laws prevent the public from knowing how much money Trump owes to Russia.

Here is the key: how much interest expense does Donald Trump claim on his tax returns? Who and what banks is he indebted to? The FBI, the special investigator Robert Mueller, and US Department of Treasury know.

According to Reuters, "The White House referred questions from Reuters to the Trump Organization, whose chief legal officer said the scrutiny of President Trump’s business ties with Russia was misplaced.” That is not true. Period.

The absence of disclosure — indeed, the reality of so many concealed identities, shielded LLCs and sources of investment in Trump properties — is one reason so many American voters have no confidence in Donald Trump.

Full financial disclosure is integral to the bond of trust between American voters and their presidents, and it has been for a very long time. By retreating behind the high walls of corporate law -- hiding identities of his Russian investors -- and refusing to disclose his tax returns -- hiding how much and who he owes money to -- Donald Trump fails the test of legitimacy Americans require for their president.


Geniusofdespair said...

Three years ago, now-President Donald Trump invited golf reporter and author James Dodson to see his new golf course to play a round and talk, as Dodson recounted to WBUR on Sunday.

There, Trump reportedly bragged to Dodson that he had access to $100 million to fund his renovations — which Dodson said struck him as odd, given that banks were leery of lending during the great recession. He then asked Eric Trump, his golf partner about it, as he recounted.

“As we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession, the Great Recession — have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.”

This wouldn’t have been the first time one of the Trump offspring bragged about Russian funding. At a real estate conference in 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said that the Russian money was “pouring in” to the Trump business.

Anonymous said...

It gets worse:

Anonymous said...

And yet, we keep losing elections!

Prem said...

Trump-branded towers in Sunny Isles... Licensed branding. Bit of a stretch to suggest Trump has anything to do with it. That's actually the Dezers who developed many properties in Sunny Isles

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Trump missed Nikita Krushev's comment "we will bury you" when referring to the U.S. The Russians have been America's worst enemies since Lenin invented hunger and misery. Instead of building a wall to keep Mexicans out Trump should look into all of the KGB trained Russians and their extended families who have flooded South Florida and care very little about our nation.

Anonymous said...

These were extremely safe republican seats. Given the levels of racism in these districts, it is a miracle we did as well as we did.