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Old 21st January 2020, 08:33 AM   #1
carlitos
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Is Trump REALLY a billionaire?

Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
So a business-friendly candidate who implemented racist law and order measures and who has helped concentrate wealth in urban centers by supporting a finance industry he directly profited from and that draws much of its wealth by seeing labor as a cost to be trimmed? For bonus points he saw himself as so important that he worked to get the law changed to allow himself an extra term. That's always good when people who think that way get a hold of executive power.

Be still my beating heart. Definitely just the man to lead the Democratic Party. I'm convinced. What in the world was I thinking.

Really, It is like someone took the worst things about Hillary Clinton and gave it a penis and a worse backstory.
Why settle for a narcissist authoritarian billionaire Republican when you could elect a narcissist billionaire authoritarian Democrat?
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Old 21st January 2020, 08:38 AM   #2
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Why settle for a narcissist authoritarian billionaire Republican when you could elect a narcissist billionaire authoritarian Democrat?
Who would that be?
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Old 21st January 2020, 08:41 AM   #3
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Donald John Trump. Who did you think I meant?
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Old 21st January 2020, 08:47 AM   #4
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Kind of hard to say since you did mention a billionaire, which the Weakling wasn't before he took office.
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Old 21st January 2020, 08:50 AM   #5
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Donald John Trump. Who did you think I meant?
He is not a billionaire and only a Republican because it was easier to run as one than going independent - he has no connection to the Party or Ideology.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:07 AM   #6
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So, other than being a billionaire and a Republican, Donald Trump is not a billionaire or a Republican.

I apologize for being vague, though. I was trying to be funny.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
So, other than being a billionaire and a Republican, Donald Trump is not a billionaire or a Republican.
Well, he's not a billionaire. Never has been.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:18 AM   #8
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I know that the guy has exaggerated his wealth for his entire life, but all of the financial publications have him pegged as being a billionaire. Somewhere between 2 and 4 billion right now.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_of_Donald_Trump
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I know that the guy has exaggerated his wealth for his entire life, but all of the financial publications have him pegged as being a billionaire. Somewhere between 2 and 4 billion right now.
Yeah, but how much of that is due to said exaggeration?
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I know that the guy has exaggerated his wealth for his entire life, but all of the financial publications have him pegged as being a billionaire. Somewhere between 2 and 4 billion right now.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_of_Donald_Trump
Yes, various 'experts' have pegged Trump's wealth at more than $1 billion.

But, the information that those publications have to work with is limited. They do not have the ability to subpoena financial records, nor do they have the ability to do complete audits of the people they are evaluating. They base their wealth estimates on what's publicly available (and probably just do a cursory evaluation at that). But in Trump's case many of his financial dealings (such as just how much debt he has, and exactly with who) aren't easily available to the public.

Oh and by the way, the wikipedia article you quoted has the following passage:

...three individuals with direct knowledge of Trump's finances told reporter Timothy L. O'Brien that Trump's actual net worth was between $150 and $250 million, though Trump then publicly claimed a net worth of $5 to $6 billion. Claiming libel, Trump sued the reporter (and his book publisher) for $5 billion, lost the case, and then lost again on appeal...

So when people DO look closer at Trump's finances, they find that he is not as wealthy as claimed.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:33 AM   #11
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At this point, "Trump is not a billionaire" strikes me as the kind of extraordinary claim that might require some evidence. Everyone from CNN to Bloomberg to Fortune estimates that he's a billionaire. Have at it.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Oh and by the way, the wikipedia article you quoted has the following passage:

...three individuals with direct knowledge of Trump's finances told reporter Timothy L. O'Brien that Trump's actual net worth was between $150 and $250 million, though Trump then publicly claimed a net worth of $5 to $6 billion. Claiming libel, Trump sued the reporter (and his book publisher) for $5 billion, lost the case, and then lost again on appeal...

So when people DO look closer at Trump's finances, they find that he is not as wealthy as claimed.
That was 15 years ago. If he took his 250 million and invested it at 5%, it would have doubled by now, plus he probably made a few bits of income here or there.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
At this point, "Trump is not a billionaire" strikes me as the kind of extraordinary claim that might require some evidence. Everyone from CNN to Bloomberg to Fortune estimates that he's a billionaire. Have at it.
We have evidence... an investigation by a reporter that found his wealth was less than $1 billion, and subsequent court cases where Trump was unable to defend his "billionaire" status.

Maybe Trump and his legal team were just having a bad day when they lost the court case where he claimed "I'm a billionaire, really!", but then again, Trump always claims he's a "stable genius" and "always hires the best people". You figure with that sort of track record then winning the case would have been a slam dunk.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
That was 15 years ago. If he took his 250 million and invested it at 5%, it would have doubled by now, plus he probably made a few bits of income here or there.
Except that you might have noticed that Trump is a terrible businessman and has lost money all his life. He lost all of his dad's money and had to get a loan from a shady bank before bouncing back from Russian money laundering.

He has no money of his own.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Quote:
Oh and by the way, the wikipedia article you quoted has the following passage:

...three individuals with direct knowledge of Trump's finances told reporter Timothy L. O'Brien that Trump's actual net worth was between $150 and $250 million, though Trump then publicly claimed a net worth of $5 to $6 billion.
That was 15 years ago. If he took his 250 million and invested it at 5%, it would have doubled by now, plus he probably made a few bits of income here or there.
Why are you assuming Trump would have gotten a 5% return? In the past 15 years, Trump has:
- had to pay out money for Trump university
- Seen one of his casinos go bankrupt
- Opened up a mortgage company, only to see it go out of business soon after
- Opened up failed businesses selling steaks, an internet search engine, and a magazine

And these are just his business failures since 2005 (when O'Brien first published his book suggesting Trump wasn't a billionaire).

Result: There is no reason to assume that Trump's wealth would have increased by 5% a year, and given the number of business failures its possible that his wealth would have stayed the same or even decreased.

Plus, look at it this way... when Trump sued O'Brien, he claimed his wealth back then was in the $5-6 billion range. If he were really increasing his wealth at 5% per year, he would then be claiming to have over $10 billion. But he's not doing that is he.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:07 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Plus, look at it this way... when Trump sued O'Brien, he claimed his wealth back then was in the $5-6 billion range. If he were really increasing his wealth at 5% per year, he would then be claiming to have over $10 billion. But he's not doing that is he.
From the wikipedia article, he nearly did this, yes.

Quote:
On June 16, 2015, just before announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump released a one-page financial statement "from a big accounting firm—one of the most respected"[21]—stating a net worth of $8,737,540,000.[22] "I'm really rich," Trump said.[21]
Again, you and Belz... and others feel free to find a credible source for Trump's actual net worth and post it here.

ETA - maybe not here, actually. Maybe in the trump thread. Sorry for the derails.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I know that the guy has exaggerated his wealth for his entire life, but all of the financial publications have him pegged as being a billionaire. Somewhere between 2 and 4 billion right now.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_of_Donald_Trump
there never was a report on Trump's wealth that didn't rely heavily on self-reporting.
There is no independent evidence that his net worth is in the range of $10^9.
And Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent this information from becoming public.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Again, you and Belz... and others feel free to find a credible source for Trump's actual net worth and post it here.
We've already given reasons to doubt the source you quoted. There are no hard facts about his current fortune.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:19 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Quote:
Plus, look at it this way... when Trump sued O'Brien, he claimed his wealth back then was in the $5-6 billion range. If he were really increasing his wealth at 5% per year, he would then be claiming to have over $10 billion. But he's not doing that is he
From the wikipedia article, he nearly did this, yes.
On June 16, 2015, just before announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump released a one-page financial statement "from a big accounting firm—one of the most respected"[21]—stating a net worth of $8,737,540,000.
Ummm... not sure if you understand basic math, but $8.7 billion is less than $10 billion. So Trump wouldn't have even matched a 5% growth rate over the past 15 years.

Oh, and by the way, a 5% growth rate is actually LESS than the growth rate of the stock market over the same time period. So congratulations to Trump... even his own bragging ends up making him look like a poor businessman.

Quote:
Again, you and Belz... and others feel free to find a credible source for Trump's actual net worth and post it here.
We have posted credible sources. The fact that you don't accept them doesn't mean that they aren't credible.

On the other hand, you are assuming he's a billionaire, largely based on the word of a guy who has lied thousands of times, and who has fought to keep his financial affairs secret (when releasing them would have exonerated him). Hmmm... respected news reporter who is vindicated in court, vs. a man who has been caught in repeated lies and is unable to defend his 'billionaire' status in courts. I wonder who is more credible?
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:28 AM   #20
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https://www.bloomberg.com/billionair...onald-j-trump/

In that article, they note that Trump ( a liar ) also claimed to be worth in excess of $10 Billion in 2016. But they do, just like Forbes and CNN and other sources, list the actual assets and liabilities that calculate Trump's net worth to be in the $2.8 Billion range.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:30 AM   #21
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Trump's finances will be revealed once he releases his tax returns, as he said he would. Any day now.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:31 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Trump's finances will be revealed once he releases his tax returns, as he said he would. Any day now.
Yeah but he didn't say "I promise".
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Trump's finances will be revealed once he releases his tax returns, as he said he would. Any day now.
Another thing Bloomberg will have in common with his would-be opponent.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:34 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
https://www.bloomberg.com/billionair...onald-j-trump/

In that article, they note that Trump ( a liar ) also claimed to be worth in excess of $10 Billion in 2016. But they do, just like Forbes and CNN and other sources, list the actual assets and liabilities that calculate Trump's net worth to be in the $2.8 Billion range.
Yet in that article, under 'Net Worth Summary', they give a confidence level of 2 out of 5 stars.

Looks to me like even the Bloomberg analysis isn't really sure if their analysis is accurate.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:41 AM   #25
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I have a hunch that in some thread on "tax the billionaires" or "the 1% owns too much of the world," there is a lot less criticism of the Forbes or Bloomberg lists.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:43 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I have a hunch that in some thread on "tax the billionaires" or "the 1% owns too much of the world," there is a lot less criticism of the Forbes or Bloomberg lists.
They might be a good tool, but it doesn't mean they have the same confidence for everyone on their list, or that the tool's as good for all of them.

They make due with the data they have.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:48 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I have a hunch that in some thread on "tax the billionaires" or "the 1% owns too much of the world," there is a lot less criticism of the Forbes or Bloomberg lists.
And your point?

Yes, there are very wealthy people out there. Yes, in many cases the wealth estimates from Forbes or Bloomberg are probably close to the truth.

Trump is an outlier. A con man. We have seen significant evidence of that (Trump University, Trump foundation, etc.) And the evidence that is in the public domain shows that he is a poor businessman. As such, the claims of his wealth can and should be viewed with more skepticism than the wealth estimates of (for example) Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or Michael Bloomberg.
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Old 21st January 2020, 10:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Yet in that article, under 'Net Worth Summary', they give a confidence level of 2 out of 5 stars.

Looks to me like even the Bloomberg analysis isn't really sure if their analysis is accurate.
What the hell - this is all headed to a split or AAH anyway.

I'm curious - Are you saying that these publications are all valuing his assets wrong, or that there are massive undisclosed liabilities out there?
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:20 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Quote:
Yet in that article, under 'Net Worth Summary', they give a confidence level of 2 out of 5 stars.
Looks to me like even the Bloomberg analysis isn't really sure if their analysis is accurate.
What the hell - this is all headed to a split or AAH anyway.
I have actually sent a message to the moderators suggesting a thread split.
Quote:
I'm curious - Are you saying that these publications are all valuing his assets wrong, or that there are massive undisclosed liabilities out there?
That's exactly what I am saying.

When Forbes or Bloomberg make there "richest people" list, they have to look at the data for potentially hundreds of people. They don't have the time or resources to go in-depth for any single millionaire/billionaire, so they probably have to rely on either self-reporting, and/or incomplete public records.

Trump's propensity to engage in shady dealings (Trump University, Trump Foundation) means that self-reporting should be viewed with more skepticism than for other millionaires/billionaires. And Trump's efforts to keep his financial details hidden mean that you can't necessarily rely on public records.

If he WAS really a billionaire, why not just release his financials (tax returns, and whatever audit records are appropriate). The fact that he hasn't (and, the fact that he lost a court case where the central question was "is trump a billionaire") certainly lend weight to the idea that Trump is not as wealthy as some assume.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:23 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I have actually sent a message to the moderators suggesting a thread split.
Me too - thanks.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:26 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I have a hunch that in some thread on "tax the billionaires" or "the 1% owns too much of the world," there is a lot less criticism of the Forbes or Bloomberg lists.


It's entirely possible to believe both that Trump is lying about being a billionaire, and that we should tax him as if he was a billionaire, because that would be ******* hi-larious. "Hoist by his own petard" isn't half of what he deserves.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:34 AM   #32
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If Trump is/was a billionaire, why did he need to, and why did he have such a hard time getting loans from banks?
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:39 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
If Trump is/was a billionaire, why did he need to, and why did he have such a hard time getting loans from banks?
The "need to" part isn't unusual. Many billionaires have assets but not necessarily cash. If they want to get in to a new business they have to finance it by borrowing if they don't want to sell other assets.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:42 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
The "need to" part isn't unusual. Many billionaires have assets but not necessarily cash. If they want to get in to a new business they have to finance it by borrowing if they don't want to sell other assets.
this has nothing to do with the OP. No one demanded that Trump's wealth needs to be in cash or gold to count as assets.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:48 AM   #35
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Some more evidence that Trump isn't a billionaire (or, if he is, its only through illegal activity):

- His casinos were fined for not taking adequate steps to prevent money laundering

- Trump defaulted on loans from Deutsche Bank (and he turned around and sued the bank for loaning him money.) There are suggestions out there that Trump only got loans from them because they were underwritten by Russia

- That same Deutche Bank flagged some Transactions by Trump as being 'suspicious'

https://www.theguardian.com/business...new-york-times

https://www.propublica.org/article/t...k-donald-trump
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:55 AM   #36
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The Trump, Inc. podcast is absolutely brilliant.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:55 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Quote:
The "need to" part isn't unusual. Many billionaires have assets but not necessarily cash. If they want to get in to a new business they have to finance it by borrowing if they don't want to sell other assets.
this has nothing to do with the OP. No one demanded that Trump's wealth needs to be in cash or gold to count as assets.
SkepticGinger asked why a wealthy person would need to take out a loan. Another poster gave a reason: because having assets doesn't mean those assets are available to use in business dealings.

The fact that Trump needed to take out loans is not suspicious by itself. What is suspicious? The fact that he couldn't seem to get loans from U.S. banks, and had to go to foreign banks, defaulted on at least one loan, had some of his transactions flagged as suspicious, and there are suggestions that those loans had to get underwritten by Russian banks.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:56 AM   #38
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I can't find it now because the signal-to-noise ratio is too severe, but there's an article about Trump (who used to call himself the "King Of Debt", let's not forget) where he claims to be broke and is quoted as pointing to a homeless man on the street and claiming that that man has more money than Trump does.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:58 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I can't find it now because the signal-to-noise ratio is too severe, but there's an article about Trump (who used to call himself the "King Of Debt", let's not forget) where he claims to be broke and is quoted as pointing to a homeless man on the street and claiming that that man has more money than Trump does.
I think it was Ivanka who brought that story up.
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Old 21st January 2020, 12:00 PM   #40
Segnosaur
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I can't find it now because the signal-to-noise ratio is too severe, but there's an article about Trump (who used to call himself the "King Of Debt", let's not forget) where he claims to be broke and is quoted as pointing to a homeless man on the street and claiming that that man has more money than Trump does.
I have heard that story, but not as Trump saying it, but a story that has been relayed by Ivanka.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/...NM4PsRGkprI4iY

John Oliver also covered that particular statement on Last Week Tonight. (His commented on how Trump, even at the lowest point in his life, still had the capacity to be a dick to a homeless person.)
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