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He’s the President, yet we’re still trying to answer basic questions about how his business works: What deals are happening, who they’re happening with, and if the President and his family are keeping their promise to separate the Trump Organization from the Trump White House. “Trump, Inc.” is a joint reporting project from WNYC Studios and ProPublica that digs deep into these questions. We’ll be laying out what we know, what we don’t and how you can help us fill in the gaps.
WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts, including On the Media, Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many others. ProPublica is a non-profit investigative newsroom.
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This story was co-published with ProPublica. Our reporting on President Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank was originally published in May 2019. A decade ago, loan filings showed Trump Tower in New York City had a reported profit of about $13.3 million. But when the tower refinanced its debt soon after, the profits for the same year — 2010 — somehow appeared higher. A new lender listed the profits as $16.1 million, or 21% more than they had been recorded previously.   The next year’s earnings for the building also “improved” between the two filings. Profits for 2011 were listed as 12% higher under the new loan than the old, according to reports by loan servicers and data provider Trepp.  ProPublica uncovered the Trump Tower discrepancies by examining publicly available data for mortgages that are packaged into securities known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, comparing the same years in reports for different CMBS. If a bank had held onto the loan, instead of selling it to investors, such information would have been kept private. No evidence has emerged that the Trump Organization was involved in changing the profit figures. Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, said: “Not only were the numbers provided to the servicer accurate, but Trump Tower is considered one of the most underleveraged commercial buildings around.”  The discrepancies in the tower profits match a pattern described in a whistleblower complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which ProPublica revealed this month. The complaint accuses commercial lenders of fraudulently inflating the income numbers underlying loans in many CMBS.  The complaint named seven servicers and 14 lenders, including two of the country’s biggest issuers of CMBS — Ladder Capital and Wells Fargo. Both were involved in the more recent Trump Tower loan, one as the lender, the second as the financial institution that packaged the loan into a CMBS. The complaint does not say which entities altered specific numbers and does not address whether borrowers were involved in, or knew about, the alleged fraud. Wells Fargo declined to comment. Ladder Capital did not respond to questions about Trump’s signature Fifth Avenue tower. Ladder did respond to questions for ProPublica’s earlier article; it acknowledged it had altered historical numbers for two other loans ProPublica asked about, to remove expenses that were not recurring in the future. The lender said its actions were appropriate. (Ladder is a publicly traded commercial real estate investment trust with more than $6 billion in assets. It employs Jack Weisselberg, the son of the Trump Organization’s longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, as an executive director whose job is to make loans. Jack Weisselberg declined to comment.) When the Trump Organization refinanced its loan for Trump Tower in 2012, it increased the size of its loan from $27.5 million to $100 million, extracting $67.9 million in cash. The interest-only loan originally represented about 8% of the more than $1 billion in mortgages assembled into the CMBS. (Only the commercial part of the tower — with retail tenants such as Gucci and offices, including for the Trump Organization — served as collateral for the loan.) For both 2010 and 2011, data shows the discrepancies in net operating income between the old and new loans for Trump Tower were largely due to the new loan reporting lower expenses. The prospectus for the more recent loan stated that “the historical expenses exclude security associated with Donald J. Trump’s personal services” — though it did not specify dollar amounts for the change. Greater revenues were cited for both years under the new loan, too, but the prospectus did not explain why. The whistleblower complaint, filed by a CMBS-industry insider named John Flynn, concerns the nearly $600  billion CMBS market. It accuses lenders and servicers of manipulating historical cash flows, failing to report misrepresentations, changing names and addresses of properties, and “deceptively and inaccurately” describing loan representations. The complaint asserts that Flynn has found overstatements in $150 billion worth of CMBS since 2013. The misrepresentations allowed properties to qualify for loans they wouldn’t have otherwise, Flynn asserts, while leaving investors in the dark. The SEC has not taken any public action in response to Flynn’s complaint; the agency declined to comment.  Altering past profits without providing an explanation is “highly questionable,” John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School and an expert in securities regulation, told ProPublica for its earlier article on CMBS. As hotels, retail and office properties face unprecedented difficulties due to the virus that has shuttered much of the country, Flynn says the manipulations have increased the likelihood and potential severity of a crash.  Last year, ProPublica revealed another set of income discrepancies at Trump Tower and other company-owned buildings, ones that seemed to hark to the testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified that Trump would inflate income figures when seeking a loan and deflate the figures when filing taxes. Other Trump Organization properties investigated by ProPublica reported higher profits in the CMBS filings than they did in tax filings. A Trump Organization spokesperson said at the time that “comparing the various reports is comparing apples to oranges” because reporting requirements differ. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations.
This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday, via teleconference, about the power to investigate the president.   President Donald Trump has objected to subpoenas for his tax returns and other financial records. New York City prosecutors have demanded the documents as part of a criminal investigation into the president’s hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, while the House of Representatives has been seeking to investigate the conflicts of interests of a president who still owns a sprawling business.  Trump’s lawyers have argued that a president shouldn’t be subject to investigation while in office. “We're asking for temporary presidential immunity,” attorney Jay Sekulow said. Andrea Bernstein of Trump, Inc. and NYU law professor Melissa Murray listened to the oral arguments and chatted with co-host Ilya Marritz about what struck them. A few takeaways:     • Fights between the legislative and executive branch are not normally heard in front of the Supreme Court. Congress and the White House have typically negotiated solutions to such disputes. “And the fact that we're in court is because this president hasn’t acceded to those norms,” Murray said. • A phrase that came up repeatedly: “presidential harassment.” It’s language that Trump frequently uses on Twitter and his lawyers raised in court. The assertion, Murray said, “has transformed what would be considered, I think in other times, ordinary and essential legislative oversight into what accounts to bullying, harassment and mere partisan politics.” • A number of the justices — including the liberal Stephen Breyer — expressed sympathy for the White House’s arguments against the House’s demands for documents, but they were far more skeptical about the claim that the president is immune from even criminal investigation. “The court seemed not to be amenable to that kind of argument at all,” Murray said.  The justices are expected to deliver a decision in the cases — Trump v. Mazars, Trump v. Deutsche Bank and Trump v. Vance — this summer. Related reporting:• The Accountants• Trump and Deutsche Bank: It's Complicated• How Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided A Criminal Indictment
The Accountants

The Accountants

2020-05-0638:087

On May 12, after a six-week delay caused by the pandemic, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the epic battle by congressional committees and New York prosecutors to pry loose eight years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Much about the case is without precedent. Oral arguments will be publicly broadcast on live audio. The nine justices and opposing lawyers will debate the issues remotely, from their offices and homes. And the central question is extraordinary: Is the president of the United States immune from congressional — and even criminal — investigation? The arguments concern whether Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, must hand over his tax returns and other records to a House committee and the Manhattan district attorney, which have separately subpoenaed them. (There will also be arguments on congressional subpoenas to two of Trump’s banks.) Trump’s accountants have been crucial enablers in his remarkable rise. And like their marquee client, they have a surprisingly colorful and tangled story of their own. It’s dramatically at odds with the image Trump has presented of his accountants as “one of the most highly respected” big firms, solemnly confirming his numbers after months of careful scrutiny. For starters, it’s only technically true to say Trump’s accounting work is handled by a large firm. In fact, Trump entrusts his taxes and planning to a tiny, secretive team of CPAs who have operated at various times from humble quarters in Queens and two Long Island office parks. That team, which has had two leaders with back-to-back multidecade terms, has been working for the Trumps since Fred Trump began using the firm back in the 1950s. It was eventually subsumed into Mazars USA, the American arm of a large international firm, through a series of mergers over decades. One theme has been consistent: partners and sometimes the firm itself have faced accusations of fraud, misconduct, and malpractice on multiple occasions, an investigation by ProPublica and WNYC has found. This story was co-published with ProPublica; visit their website to read Peter Elkind's full text story on President Trump's relationship with his accounting firm. Stay up to date with email updates about our investigations into the president’s business practices.
He Went To Jared

He Went To Jared

2020-04-2235:336

On April 2, Jared Kushner uncharacteristically took to the podium to speak at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing. He’d been given the task, he said, of assisting Vice President Mike Pence’s Coronavirus Task Force with supply chain issues. “The president,” Kushner said, “wanted us to make sure we think outside the box, make sure we’re finding all the best thinkers in the country, making sure we’re getting all the best ideas, and that we’re doing everything possible to make sure that we can keep Americans safe.” That very day, he said, President Donald Trump told him that “he was hearing from friends of his in New York that the New York public hospital system was running low on critical supply.” So Kushner called Dr. Mitchell Katz, who runs the 12-hospital system, which serves, in a normal year, over a million patients. Kushner said he’d asked Katz which supply he was most nervous about: “He told me it was the N95 masks. I asked what his daily burn was. And I basically got that number.” In a chaotic environment, the New Jersey boy turned Manhattan businessman turned senior White House adviser is using his clout to help the cities and states at the epicenter of a global pandemic get the aid they need.  Yet there’s another side to the equation. Kushner’s role is also a symptom of the dysfunction of the Trump administration, according to critics, some of whom worked in emergency management under Republican and Democratic administrations. The ad hoc nature of Kushner’s mission and its lack of transparency make it hard for people — and government agencies — to know exactly what he’s doing. So far, those officials say, there's little sign Kushner or anyone at the White House is helping New York or New Jersey with their urgent longer-term needs, particularly more testing and billions from Congress to ease the gaping holes that have emerged in local budgets.  ”If you can reach Jared, if you can applaud Jared, if you can convince him that you're the most needy, he will deliver for you,” said Juliette Kayyem, faculty chair of the homeland security project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former assistant secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration. But his role bypasses long-held tenets of how the federal government should work in a national emergency, she said, without addressing systemic problems, much less reinventing the bureaucracy. “What's outside the box? What process is outside the box? It can't possibly be Kushner's [giving out his] cellphone number,” Kayyem said. “But that's what it appears to be.”  Read the text version of this story at ProPublica. Related episodes:• Dirt• How Trump Is Eligible For A Coronavirus Rescue• What To Look Out For
In a late March press briefing on the coronavirus, President Trump turned the microphone over to Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of a company called MyPillow. Lindell — a regular on Fox News and at Trump properties, and a high-dollar donor to Republican causes — talked about how his company was pivoting from pillows to protective masks — and effusively praised the president's leadership. We've been thinking about who stands to benefit from the coronavirus bailout, and that unusual moment highlights the close links between Trump and allies who stands to benefit (often in more ways than just publicity) from the government response to the pandemic. On this episode of the show we're examining: • How the Trump family business qualifies for the two trillion dollar bailout• How businesses close to Trump are getting regulatory rollbacks and other long-sought goals• And what kind of oversight we should be expect in this new and uncertain era Check out reporter Meg Cramer's story about how businesses within the Trump Organization stand to benefit from the coronavirus bailout and Peter Elkind's reporting on how Trump Org properties are responding to the crisis. And visit our tips page to learn how to securely share what you know.  Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on WNYC and ProPublica's investigations.
What To Look Out For

What To Look Out For

2020-03-2723:0316

The “Trump, Inc.” podcast has long explored how people have tried to benefit through their proximity to the Oval Office. And we're going to continue digging into that as the Trump administration is tasked with rolling out more than $2 trillion in bailout money.   We spoke to two people this week to help us understand the stakes. “Some policymakers sitting in the Treasury Department or some other government agency have this awesome power to say, ‘You get the money, you go out of business,.’” said Neil Barofsky, who served as the government’s watchdog for the 2008 bank bailout. “One of the most important things we can do is make sure that power is exercised fairly, consistently, and, most importantly, consistent with the policy goals that underlie this extraordinary outpouring of taxpayer money.”  We also spoke with journalist Sarah Chayes, a former NPR correspondent who has reported on corruption and cronyism in countries experiencing economic shock. She said powerful players often “take advantage of adversity and uncertainty to enrich themselves.”  But Chayes also described something else. She coined it “disaster solidarity.” That’s when there’s so much suffering, so much adversity, “that people's tolerance for selfish, hogging, me-first behavior is really low.”  And that’s where you come in. We want your help to dig into the coming bailout. If you know something, please tell us. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. for the latest on WNYC and ProPublica's investigations.
The Trump Organization paid bribes, through middlemen, to New York City tax assessors to lower its property tax bills for several Manhattan buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, according to five former tax assessors and city employees as well as a former Trump Organization employee.  Two of the five city employees said they personally took bribes to lower the assessment on a Trump property; the other three said they had indirect knowledge of the payments. The city employees were among 18 indicted in 2002 for taking bribes in exchange for lowering the valuations of properties, which in turn reduced the taxes owed for the buildings. All of the 18 eventually pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan except for one, who died before his case was resolved. No building owners were charged, though the addresses of some of the properties involved became public. Trump’s buildings were not on that list. No evidence has emerged that Donald Trump personally knew of or participated in the alleged bribery.  Trump denied any wrongdoing at the time, and the Trump Organization reiterated that position in response to questions for this article. “To be clear, at no time did the Trump Organization or any of its employees or principals ever pay anyone for the purpose of unlawfully obtaining a lower tax valuation,” Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, wrote in a statement. “This was corroborated by multiple investigations which found no evidence of any wrongdoing by the company or any of its principals. ... If anything, the Trump Organization was a victim of the scandal.” (Here is the company’s full statement.) Read the full print version of this story at ProPublica. Special thanks to former New York Times reporter Charles Bagli, who first reported on the bribery scheme in 2002. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. for the latest on WNYC and ProPublica's investigations Related episodes:• The Numbers Don't Match• Trump’s Company Is Suing Towns Across the Country to Get Breaks on Taxes• Pump and Trump
The Family Business

The Family Business

2020-03-0435:585

This episode of Trump, Inc. was originally released on September 18, 2019. We’ll be back next week with a new episode of Trump, Inc. We've done dozens of episodes over since Donald Trump took office, detailing how predatory lenders are paying the president, how Trump has profited from his own inauguration and how Trump's friends have sought to use their access in pursuit of profit.  We've noticed something along the way. It's not just that the president has mixed his business and governing. It's that the way Trump does business is spreading across the government.  Trump's company isn't like most big businesses. It is accountable to only one man, it has broken the rules, and those promoting it have long engaged in what Trump has dubbed, ahem, "truthful hyperbole." Those traits are now popping up in the government. It may seem like the news from Washington is a cacophony of scandals. But they fit clear patterns — patterns that Trump has brought with him from his business.
Last year, Eric Trump defended his father’s frequent visits to properties owned by the family business, saying that Trump hotels charge far less than others would. “If they were to go to a hotel across the street, they’d be charging them $500 a night, whereas, you know we charge them, like 50 bucks,” Eric Trump told Yahoo Finance. But recent reporting by The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold revealed that’s not the case: records show that the Secret Service was charged rates as high as $650 a night to stay at Trump properties — then tried to keep that information secret. “It’s not only that Trump has control over this - he’s paying money to himself - but also that we weren’t told,” Fahrenthold said. “You could make the case that if they publicly advertise this and listed these things in public spending databases and you and I knew about this from the beginning, they might be able to make the argument that like, ‘Oh well, the public knows and they're okay with it.’ But we didn't know. They didn't tell us. So there's a real moral distinction.” Related episodes:• The Government's Bar Tab at Mar-a-Lago• How a Nigerian Presidential Candidate Hired a Trump Lobbyist and Ended Up in Trump’s Lobby• Government Employees Spend Your Money at Trump Hotels Learn more about Fahrenthold and The Post's unanswered questions about government spending at Trump properties. Stay up to date with email updates about WNYC and ProPublica's investigations into the president's business practices.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman have attained notoriety for their parts in the Ukraine mess. They’re both Soviet-born U.S. citizens who worked closely with the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, serving as emissaries in the campaign to oust then-U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and press Ukraine’s government to investigate Joe Biden’s son.  But Parnas and Fruman also exemplify the shattering of norms when it comes to the influence of big money in politics during the administration of President Donald Trump. “Parnas and Fruman are not the first people that we've seen fit this mold of someone with deep foreign connections, who's never given campaign contributions before, suddenly starts giving large amounts of political contributions and then shows up at exclusive events,” said Robert Maguire, the research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW. But he says they can be a model for what to look for: political newcomers suddenly making big donations, often using an LLC to obscure their identity. Parnas and Fruman now face federal criminal charges for, among other things, allegedly funneling foreign money into U.S. elections and trying to hide its source. (They’ve pleaded not guilty.) The law is clear on this: “At the most basic level, one is not allowed to solicit, accept, or receive any foreign money in connection with a US election at the state, federal, or local level,” said Ellen Weintraub, a member of the Federal Election Commission. In practice, though, it’s perhaps easier than ever for foreign money to enter the American political system undetected. Learn more about how you can dig into campaign finance documents yourself with our new Reporting Recipe. Read about how watchdogs identified Parnas and Fruman’s suspicious campaign contributions at ProPublica. An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified FEC vice-chair Steven Walther as a Republican; he is an independent.
Andrea Bernstein discusses the reporting process behind Trump, Inc. and her new book, American Oligarchs: The Kushners, The Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power, with Death, Sex & Money host Anna Sale. This bonus episode was recorded at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Reporters Ilya Marritz and Justin Elliott have been reporting on Trump's inauguration since 2018. They looked at how the inaugural committee raised a record $107 million (and the big questions behind where that money went) and examined the role Ivanka Trump played in negotiations over space at the Trump International Hotel, located just blocks from the White House. Those negotiations, first reported by Trump, Inc. in 2019, are now the subject of a civil suit filed by the District of Columbia’s attorney general. “Members of the Trump family were aware of and involved in the negotiation of this unconscionable contract,” D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine wrote in the complaint charging the Trump inaugural committee and the Trump Organization with using around $1 million of charitable funds to improperly enrich the Trump family, filed Wednesday, January 22. A spokesperson for the Trump Organization dismissed the D.C. suit in an emailed statement: “The AG’s claims are false, intentionally misleading and riddled with inaccuracies. The rates charged by the hotel were completely in line with what anyone else would have been charged for an unprecedented event of this enormous magnitude and were reflective of the fact that [sic] hotel had just recently opened, possessed superior facilities and was centrally located on Pennsylvania Avenue. The AG’s after the fact attempt to regulate what discounts it believes the hotel should have provided as well as the timing of this complaint reeks of politics and is a clear PR stunt.” This episode of Trump, Inc. was originally released on February 20, 2019.
For generations, the Trump family has used government and politicians as a path to profit. As president, Donald Trump has taken things even further. “This guy is a state capitalist,” said Trump’s first biographer, reporter Wayne Barrett, in a 1992 WNYC interview, cited extensively in this episode. “[In] every single one of his major deals, he was designated to be a millionaire and subsequently a billionaire by the government officials that he co-opted and compromised.” “The Trump family is not shy on transforming their wealth into power in a very crude and brutal way,” says economist Gabriel Zucman, co-author of the book “The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay.” “But that's the nature of extreme wealth. When you're extremely wealthy what do you do? You spend your wealth and your time trying to defend your established position.” This episode is based on reporting from host Andrea Bernstein’s new book “American Oligarchs: the Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power.” Read about the history of a 40-year tax break Trump negotiated for his Grand Hyatt hotel at ProPublica.
Dirt

Dirt

2020-01-0841:528

In 1996, an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor and refugee to America sat down with an interviewer from the USC Shoah Foundation to recount what she had experienced. “If we’re not going to tell now, in 20 years I don’t know who’s going to be to tell,” Rae Kushner said in her Yiddish-accented English. “And now we have still the strength and we have the power to do this and to warn the rest of the world to be careful who is coming up on top of your government.” Rae’s grandson Jared is now one of the most powerful people in the U.S. government. President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, he is an influential voice on some of the nation’s most pressing issues, including immigration across the southern border. And to understand him, you need to understand his family story. This episode is based on reporting from host Andrea Bernstein’s new book “American Oligarchs: the Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power.” Read more about the Kushner family at ProPublica and find an excerpt of Bernstein’s book at The New Yorker.
Mongolia

Mongolia

2019-12-1125:529

In the summer of 2019, Donald Trump Jr. traveled to Mongolia. On Instagram, he wrote "Guys I'm back after living the Yurt Life...We covered many miles on horseback and 4WD...Truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen." He didn't mention the fact that he shot and killed an endangered argali sheep. Or that the Mongolian government issued him a hunting permit after the shoot. We learned that in many respects, Trump Jr.'s visit blurred the lines between private citizen and diplomacy. Trump Jr. even had a meeting with the Mongolian President. Read more about Donald Trump Jr.'s trip to Mongolia. Stay up to date with email updates about WNYC and ProPublica's investigations into the Trump family business.
Gordon Sondland

Gordon Sondland

2019-11-2730:1910

Three women recall Gordon Sondland made unwanted sexual contact in business settings. One says he exposed himself. All recall professional retaliation after they rejected him. Sondland denies the allegations.  Sondland is the US Ambassador to the European Union. He also served as a point-man for President Trump in Ukraine, as Trump put a hold on military aid. Then, Sondland became a key witness in the impeachment inquiry. Long before Sondland moved his residence to a Brussels mansion, he was a high-profile hotelier and philanthropist in the Pacific Northwest. In Portland, he has long been a powerful investor, political donor, and patron of the arts.   Read more about the accusations against Gordon Sondland. Stay up to date with email updates about WNYC and ProPublica's investigations into the president's business practices.
Glenn Simpson has a lot to say about business corruption and Russian influence in the U.S. In this episode, we speak to him. Simpson first came to these issues as an investigative journalist at The Wall Street Journal. In 2010, he co-founded Fusion GPS, a research firm. During the 2016 campaign, he began to research Donald Trump for two clients: first for a Republican opposed to Trump and then for a lawyer for Democrats. Fusion is most famous — or infamous — for hiring Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the so-called Steele dossier. We asked Simpson about the dossier, about becoming a part of the story, and about the deposition of former national security aide Fiona Hill, who said that when it comes to Russia, "corruption is our Achilles heel." Simpson is now the author, with Peter Fritsch, of the new book, "Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump." Read our full interview with Simpson. Stay up to date with email updates about WNYC and ProPublica's investigations into the president's business practices.
The impeachment inquiry focuses on whether or not there was a quid pro quo: Military aid in exchange for an investigation. But what if you look at the same events from a different vantage point? The business interests at play. This episode: How Rudy Giuliani's associates worked their connections to oust the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine. How President Trump's personal interests came into alignment with the interests of an indicted foreign businessman. And how all of them have been working to discredit Joe Biden. Read more about the flow of money in the Ukraine scandal. Stay up to date with email updates about WNYC and ProPublica's investigations into the president's business practices.
President Trump's Doral resort has been in the news a lot lately. His chief of staff announced from the White House that America would host the next G-7 summit there. Then, Trump backed off. We're looking at a conference that did happen at Doral. A conference that attracted conspiracy theorists, where a violent video featuring a fake Trump massacring members of the media was shown. (The conference organizers say they "condemn political violence.") Trump, Inc. was there. So was the President’s son, Donald Trump, Jr. This week: The business of conspiracies. Read more about who makes money when a bunch of conspiracy theorists throw a party at Trump's hotel. Stay up to date with email updates about WNYC and ProPublica's investigations into the president's business practices.
The Numbers Don't Match

The Numbers Don't Match

2019-10-1631:4815

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is serving prison time for understating his income to the IRS, and for overstating his income to banks. Trump's former executive vice president and special counsel, Michael Cohen, is also serving prison time, for, among other things, making false statements to a bank.  And Donald Trump? A lot of people want to see his taxes: At least two congressional committees. The Manhattan District Attorney. Trump doesn’t want ANYONE to see them. He’s gone to court three times to make sure they stay secret. The court fight is ongoing. Trump's tax documents remain walled off. Heather Vogell of ProPublica found some anyway. She compared them to financial documents Trump filed with his lender — and discovered that certain key numbers don't match.  Heather spoke with over a dozen experts in accounting, law, and real estate. Not a single one of them could explain the discrepancies away.
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Comments (126)

Pedro

shut up Joe you're hyper again. The Mueller investigation wasn't a hoax and Trump is a crook. Get a grip man, we did land on the Moon.

May 16th
Reply

kurt simon

How about we do a new podcast on OBAMAGATE!

May 14th
Reply

daisy

why. just why.

Apr 23rd
Reply (2)

kurt simon

I respect the effort. I see the bias. I know your agenda. You have to understand. Donald Trump is a human being that comes one in a lifetime. Do your worst. Get all the most powerful, most famous people, groups whoever, whatever to try to bring him down. The God of Israel is on his side. Remember you have been doing this even before he started his republican candidate campaign.

Apr 13th
Reply

Tim Simon

he such a snake. shame so many of his followers turn a blind eye to his shenanigans

Jan 13th
Reply (1)

Syl Grant

Fantastic journalism on the Mongolian Don Jr story. Just another reality check for anyone who is still not getting how disguisting that whole family is. They care about nothing except their own life. They don't even care about the future their children will be living in. It makes me ill as far as all the D Jr hunting stuff goes.

Dec 24th
Reply (1)

daisy

Gordon sondland is a predator. I just listened to this, why isn't this in the news more?

Dec 20th
Reply

Rich Berry

it's great to have you back guys.

Sep 19th
Reply

Shawn Fehr

Until it costs as much as michelle's trip to India, idgaf.

Aug 1st
Reply (3)

jersey2777

these "opportunity zones" sound just like a tax shelter, yet another for the uber rich..

Jul 21st
Reply (2)

Mel Vis

It's become increasingly difficult to listen to anything Trump, especially corruption-related stories, while Daddy T does his clown routine to keep us all distracted. Please god, make the madness stop.

Jun 19th
Reply

Caleb Shuler Sr

ignoramus they all seem

Jun 3rd
Reply

Caleb Shuler Sr

well, if that's the case, President Trump has done a lot for us then

Jun 3rd
Reply

F L Gibson Jr

Mirror trades

May 23rd
Reply

GraWsA

aww I wanted someone to tell that last caller that the Mueller investigation actually made something like 52 million from Manafort, just to put to rest the last little bit of her argument.

Mar 28th
Reply (2)

Nonya Bizness

i don't know if the podcast producers read these comments, but since you report that technically, the president can give his permission to for private entities to use (and profit from) the presidential seal, and that he has apparently given only one private entity, the trump org, that permission, i say we inundate the president with requests to use the seal. a bar, a barber shop, a band, birthday parties, bed and breakfast decor, etc... if the sole permission for AMERICA'S presidential seal to be used for profit by a private company goes to trump org, we have clear evidence that trump is, at minimum, using the office of the president to pillage the american people.

Mar 24th
Reply

SMSimon

Phenomenal reporting here everyone. Thanks for breaking it down for us.

Feb 28th
Reply

Luke Strain

This channel is trash.. pulling at straws and where the respect for office of the presidency??

Dec 16th
Reply (1)

Scott McWilliams

I appreciate your passion for finding the wrong doing of the current president. where was this podcast or info on the last president. government is corrupt on both sides.

Dec 9th
Reply (2)

Rich Berry

great work everyone! so enlightening. so depressing.

Sep 27th
Reply
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