Two weeks ago the NY Times published a look at President Trumps tax returns which found he owes about $400 million in debt. Immediately this became a talking point among Democrats. Nancy Pelosi went on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell and claimed Trumps debt was a national security risk. Pelosi hinted darkly that Trump may personally owe money to Vladimir Putin:
Ms Pelosi said the report showed that this president appears to have over $400m in debt.
To whom? Different countries? What is the leverage they have? she asked, adding: So for me, this is a national security question.
The fact that you could have a sitting president who owes hundreds of millions of dollars that hes personally guaranteed to lenders, and we dont know who these lenders are, she said, and suggested that Mr Trump may be indebted to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
What does Putin have on the president politically? Personally? Financially?
Naturally, MSNBCs Rachel Maddow ran with this, saying the sitting president owes hundreds of millions of dollars to God knows who
And the next day, just prior to the first presidential debate, MSNBC interviewed Hillary Clinton who suggested one of the questions that needed to be asked of Trump was Who do you owe that $400 million dollars to? That set all of the heads nodding at MSNBC (video below). But Hillary didnt stop there. If you take the pieces of the puzzle here, it appears pretty clear to me, and I think to a lot of people that Russian money was funneled through Deutsche Bank. Russian money was used as guarantees for continuing lending to Trump and his organization despite his terrible track record financially So who do you owe that money to? she said. Clinton added, Is that part of the reason why you have undisclosed conversations on a regular basis with Vladimir Putin?
More recently, during the Vice-Presidential debate, Kamala Harris raised the same point about Trumps debt. Itd be really good to know who the president of the United States, the commander-in-chief owes money to, because the American people have a right to know what is influencing the presidents decisions and is he making those decisions on the best interests of the American people .or self-interest? she said.
Yesterday the NY Times reported that we already know who Trump owes that debt to and the answer isnt Russia, its Deutsche Bank. Author David Enrich not only takes down Pelosis suggestion that Trump owes Putin money but demolishes a lot of other left-wing conspiracy theories along the way:
According to Mr. Trumps latest financial disclosure report, filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, he owes at least $135 million to a smattering of small financial institutions such as Ladder Capital. His biggest creditor to whom Mr. Trump owes well over $300 million is Deutsche Bank. From 2012 through 2015, the scandal-plagued German bank lent Mr. Trump money for his Doral golf resort in Florida ($125 million), his hotel in Washington ($170 million) and his skyscraper in Chicago (at least $45 million)
One conspiracy theory is that Deutsche Bank agreed to make the loans because they were backstopped by Russians the Kremlin or a state-owned bank or an oligarch. If Mr. Trump were to default, it would be the Russians, not Deutsche Bank, on the hook for the losses.
I wonder why Enrich cites some rando on Twitter making this claim rather than Hillary Clinton? In any case, its not true:
But the theories dont hold up.
Deutsche Bank didnt chop up and sell the latest batch of debt the only portion that is still outstanding, according to bank officials with direct knowledge of the transactions. The loans remain on Deutsche Banks books.
In other words, Pelosis and Hillarys claims about Trump owing Putin, both eagerly spread by MSNBC, were fake news. Kamala Harris claim that we dont know who the president owes is similarly just more trolling for the same conspiracy theorists. MSNBC never lets the facts get in the way of a good story.
Heres the clip of Hillary speculating wildly prior to the first debate: