GOP heavyweight Karl Rove called Trump’s presidential aspirations ‘a joke,’ and the White House called them a ‘sideshow.’
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TV star and developer Donald Trump tells his Tea Party followers the nation needs a President who is a “winner, not a loser” – and he’s just the guy for the job.
What he doesn’t talk about is a recurring pattern of Trump companies filing for bankruptcy to dodge creditors and distance him from business failure.
When his Trump casinos filed for Chapter 11 in 2009, Trump claimed he had nothing to do with the gaming halls.
Documents tell a different tale: then and now, he’s listed as an owner on the casino’s license.
That hasn’t stopped him. He won hearty Tea Party applause at an April 16 rally in Boca Raton, Fla., by portraying himself as a master businessman whose financial prowess qualifies him to lead the free world.
“We need people that win. We don’t need people that lose all the time,” he told the crowd. “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.”
Over the years, that scorecard hasn’t looked so hot.
In the last 20 years, Trump’s companies have sought protection from creditors to avoid financial collapse at least three times.
By 1990, Trump’s multiple enterprises amassed debts of $4 billion, including $975 million he guaranteed. Trump won a loan restructuring deal in June 1991 after negotiations with creditors.
He also was allowed to keep the commercial space at Trump Tower on Fifth Ave., and 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 commercial space at Trump Parc on Central Park South, records show.
Around the same time, he was renegotiating debt on the Taj Mahal and at least one other Atlantic City casino. The Taj entered bankruptcy in July 1991, and emerged a few months later with bondholders getting 50% of the property.
By 1995, Trump righted his financial ship, trimming his guaranteed debt to $70 million and completely paying off some creditors.
His lifestyle had improved markedly since the dark days when creditors put him on a $450,000 monthly allowance. In 1995, his salary from the Trump Plaza was $1 million and he once again owned a jet.