I am now going to the brand new Trump International Hotel D.C. for a major statement.
— Donald Trump, twitter, Sept. 16 at 9:23 a.m.
And so he did, as all the world will remember. That’s when, and where, he made his trumpeted “birther”-renouncement statement—er, his internationally televised ad for his new D.C. hotel.
The “where” being the operative word in that sentence. And the “for his new D.C. hotel” being not an accurate reflection of who actually owns it.
At a campaign appearance in North Carolina on Tuesday, in comments that should have received wide attention, not just from the news media but also from Clinton, Trump elaborated on whom the Trump International Hotel D.C actually belongs to: “other people”. Here’s how CNN began its online text report on that campaign appearance:
Kenansville, North Carolina (CNN)Donald Trump bragged Tuesday there’s “nothing like” using other people’s money, hours after a report said he used more than $250,000 from his charitable organization to litigate lawsuits against his business interests.
Trump, while calling for building safe zones in Syria financed by Gulf states, vaunted the benefits of doing business with “OPM.”
“It’s called OPM. I do it all the time in business. It’s called other people’s money,” Trump said. “There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money because it takes the risk — you get a good chunk out of it and it takes the risk.”
Simply pointing out, again and again, that Trump is breaking with four decades of tradition in refusing to make public any of his or his company’s tax returns; simply pointing out Trump’s companies’ six bankruptcies; pointing out that his comments about Putin (not least that he has a reciprocal-compliments relationship with Putin, and Putin’s relationship with Russia’s oligarchs who invest in Trump real estate (or whatever it was that Donald Jr. was saying at the 2008 seminar)? These, independently, don’t register with most of the public, apparently.
But how about running ads in swing states tying all these together with the bowtie called OPM, and Trump’s Sept. 16 personal ad for the new hotel that bears his name but to which the in-name-only label applies? Russian oligarchs, after all, could tie President Trump in knots—should they threaten to, say, pull their financing from “his” real estate properties.
Unless of course the other people’s money comes without strings attached. Or balloon loan repayments that can be called at any time.