For four long years, it has hung like a stormcloud over President Donald Trump: The whispered assumption that, because the president is not forthcoming about his tax returns, therein lies the smoking gun behind his supposed allegiance to Russia and Vladimir Putin. The theory is that Trump is so far in hock to Moscow that he has no choice but to dedicate his presidency – and thus the country – to his masters in Russia. It is not important that there is no evidence to back up this theory; when it comes to Democrats and their Trump scandals, lack of evidence is just as good as solid proof.
But it doesn’t help the cause when Anti-Trump Central, The New York Times, can no longer support the unsupportable.
At last week’s vice-presidential debate, Sen. Kamala Harris said, “It’d be really good to know who the president of the United States, the commander-in-chief, owes money to, because the American people have a right to know what is influencing the president’s decisions.”
This (finally?) inspired the Times to do some investigating.
“According to Mr. Trump’s latest financial disclosure report, filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, he owes at least $135 million to a smattering of small financial institutions such as Ladder Capital. His biggest creditor — to whom Mr. Trump owes well over $300 million — is Deutsche Bank. From 2012 through 2015, the scandal-plagued German bank lent Mr. Trump money for his Doral golf resort in Florida ($125 million), his hotel in Washington ($170 million) and his skyscraper in Chicago (at least $45 million),” the paper reported Tuesday.
The paper then acknowledged that some Democrats believe that Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank is the key to the whole Russian money-laundering scheme, but even though they themselves have traded on this conspiracy theory in the past, they tackled it with a more sober approach this week.
“Deutsche Bank didn’t chop up and sell the latest batch of debt — the only portion that is still outstanding, according to bank officials with direct knowledge of the transactions. The loans remain on Deutsche Bank’s books,” they reported. “It is true that Deutsche Bank was willing to lend to Mr. Trump when few others would. But there is an explanation. To overcome the bank’s wariness, Mr. Trump agreed to personally guarantee most of the debt on all of the loans.”
That information certainly isn’t as sexy or as interesting as secret loans from Russia, but it does hold one advantage over those theories: It’s the actual truth.
Not that we expect that truth to keep Democrats from peddling their nonsense to anyone dumb enough to listen.