Trump got $270 million debt forgiven on Chicago skyscraper: NYT

  • President Donald Trump has had more than $280 million in debt forgiven since 2010, The New York Times first reported.
  • Most of it was related to money he owed to lenders for the construction of a huge skyscraper in Chicago, according to tax returns and loan documents seen by the newspaper.
  • When Trump failed to pay the money bank, lenders first gave him more time, before eventually writing off the debt, The Times reported.
  • Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he was “able to get a good deal with the many lenders on a big, very nice tower. Doesn’t that make me a smart guy rather than a bad guy?”
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President Donald Trump has had $270 million in debt forgiven by lenders he failed to repay for a 92-story skyscraper in Chicago, according to The New York Times.

An analysis of his tax returns by the newspaper found that when the construction of Trump International Hotel & Tower ran into financial difficulties, a major bank and hedge fund gave years of extra time to pay off its debts.

And much of that debt has been forgiven, the Times reported.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he was “able to get a good deal with the many lenders” on the tower. “Doesn’t that make me a smart guy rather than a bad guy?”

Records reviewed by the newspaper also suggest that Trump paid minimal federal income tax on forgiven debts due to large losses at his other businesses. Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, told The Times that the company and Trump had paid all of their owed taxes on the canceled debts.

In total, since 2010, Trump has received $287 million in debt forgiveness, most of it coming from construction of the Chicago Tower, which was completed in 2008, the newspaper reported.

According to documents seen by The Times, Trump arranged for two of his companies to borrow more than $700 million for the construction project.

Trump got the majority of the money — $640 million — from Germany’s Deutsche Bank, the report said, while the rest came from Fortress Investment Group, a private equity firm.

When the loans came due in 2008, the Trump International Hotel & Tower was still unfinished. Deutsche Bank initially gave Trump a six-week extension to repay the money, according to the report.

At that point, Trump’s company owed Deutsche Bank about $334 million in principal and interest, and Fortress $130 million, not including interest and fees, according to the Times report.

When the bank denied its second request for an extension, Trump sued Deutsche Bank for “predatory lending practices” and sought $3 billion in damages, according to the report.

The bank then filed its own lawsuit demanding immediate repayment of the loan, according to the report.

In July 2010, attorneys for Trump, Deutsche Bank and Fortress reached a private settlement, but did not disclose terms.

But tax filings and loan documents seen by The Times show lenders have forgiven Trump for $270 million in debt.

Previous Time reports on Trump’s taxes found that he avoided paying federal income taxes for 10 of the past 15 years and paid a total of $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017.

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