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FTR #921 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 4: Trump on the Stump (The Underground Reich Emerges Into Plain View, Part 2)

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

thinkbignkickassMeinKampfIntroduction: Continuing our coverage of what we have termed “The Trumpenkampfverbande”–the Nazi phenomenon that is the Presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

A major element of analysis here concerns Trump’s skillful use of the rhetorical techniques used so successfully by Adolf Hitler.

Josh Marshall [of Talking Points Memo] noted: “ . . . This was as wild and as unbridled a speech as I’ve seen from Trump. Even if you couldn’t understand English, it would be stunning to watch the slashing hand gestures, the red face, the yelling. It’s hard to imagine any presidential candidate in living memory giving such a speech. And again, this is if you didn’t know what the words even meant.

As the speech was unfolding, I said something on Twitter that I’m sure many will find extreme or beyond the pale. But watching this speech, compared to the press conference today in Mexico City, what kept coming to my mind was the contrast between Hitler’s uniformed rally speeches from the hustings and the suited, statesman Hitler we see in the old news reels in Munich and at other iconic moments in the late 1930s. . . . the demagogic style, the frenzied invocation of familial blood sacrificed to barbaric outsiders – these are not unique to him [Hitler]. When we see this lurid, stab-in-the-back incitement, the wild hyperbole, the febrile railing against outsiders who will make us no longer a country – the similarities are real. More than anything, perhaps the most chilling part of this day is the contrast between the two men – a measured, calm statesman figure we saw this afternoon and this railing, angry demagogue figure who captured the emotional tenor of a Klan rally. . . .”

The similarity noted above by Josh Marshall was not coincidental: . . . . Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, ‘Heil Hitler,’ possibly as a family joke. . . . Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, ‘My New Order,’ which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. . . .”

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump

Observers have noted that Trump apparently studied the book carefully: “. . . . But it appears that one way or another, much of the content in My New Order about how Hitler says propaganda works, and how he structures his speaking style, and how Hitler targets the lowest-common denominator as his intended audience, has seeped into Trump: the way he speaks, argues, rages and responds in public. This goes beyond what has been reported in the New York Times, which analyzed 95,000 words from five months of speeches and concluded that Trump shares a style with the 20th century’s biggest demagogues. . . . What is really stunning—whether or not he carefully read My New Order—is that Trump is channeling the very tenets about how propaganda works laid out by Hitler in his books. . . .”

Next, we note that a recent Trump campaign disclosure appears to be yet another “dog whistle” for Trump’s Nazi followers. Citing 88 high-ranking military officers supporting Trump, the Trump campaign is probably referencing the number as a long-standing numerical code for “Heil Hitler.” In the aftermath of the Allied occupation of Germany, it was forbidden to use the Nazi salute. Instead, “88” was given voice by the Nazi faithful–“H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

It is worth noting that, from an actuarial standpoint, the possibility that exactly 88 officers would have backed Trump is highly unlikely. The number could be anything, from the standpoint of probability.

That exact number–88–is very, very unlikely.

A significant portion of the program reviews the sources of Trump’s money. In FTR #’s 919 and 920, we noted that the most significant of Trump’s creditors is Deutsche Bank, inextricably linked with the Bormann capital network. The Union Bank of Switzerland is another Bormann-linked bank involved with Trump’s real estate empire. Trump’s Chicago tower was bailed out by a consortium led by George Soros, who got his start in business “Aryanizing” Jewish property during the Holocaust.

A telling observation was made by Soledad O’Brien, a former CNN host: ” . . . ‘If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,’ O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. ‘I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful. I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,’ she noted. ‘And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that. . . . The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is ‘softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television? And the answer is yes, clearly,’ she said. ‘And there is lots of evidence of that.’ . . .”

The program concludes with one of our periodic readings of a passage from They Thought They Were Free, in which a German professor who lived through the rise of Hitler described the subjective experience of what it was like. Read it, listen to it and decide if it reflects what you are experiencing.

Program Highlights Include:

  • Review of our analysis of Trump’s statements about Putin/Russia/Ukraine as a manifestation of German “Ostpolitik.”
  • Presentation of a skillful manifestation of Ostpolitik by Walter Schellenbrg, in charge of foreign intelligence for the SD, the SS intelligence service.
  • Analysis of the success of Schellenberg’s Ostpolitik propaganda as registered with Allen Dulles.

1. In Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall notes the similarity between Adolf Hitler’s rhetorical style and that of Donald Trump. The contrast between the fulminating partisan addressing his followers and the “statesman” engaging other politicians at major functions caught Marshall’s eye.

“Blood and Race and Trump” by Josh Marshall; Talking Points Memo Editor’s Blog; 9/01/2016.

We’ve now heard Trump’s big immigration policy speech.

Let me start with a general comment on tone. This was as wild and as unbridled a speech as I’ve seen from Trump. Even if you couldn’t understand English, it would be stunning to watch the slashing hand gestures, the red face, the yelling. It’s hard to imagine any presidential candidate in living memory giving such a speech. And again, this is if you didn’t know what the words even meant.

As the speech was unfolding, I said something on Twitter that I’m sure many will find extreme or beyond the pale. But watching this speech, compared to the press conference today in Mexico City, what kept coming to my mind was the contrast between Hitler’s uniformed rally speeches from the hustings and the suited, statesman Hitler we see in the old news reels in Munich and at other iconic moments in the late 1930s. . . . But the demagogic style, the frenzied invocation of familial blood sacrificed to barbaric outsiders – these are not unique to him. When we see this lurid, stab-in-the-back incitement, the wild hyperbole, the febrile railing against outsiders who will make us no longer a country – the similarities are real. More than anything, perhaps the most chilling part of this day is the contrast between the two men – a measured, calm statesman figure we saw this afternoon and this railing, angry demagogue figure who captured the emotional tenor of a Klan rally. As I said, the ability to shift from one persona to the other is a sign of danger in itself. . . .

2a. Trump has, in fact, digested Hitler’s rhetorical style, having acquired and read a book of Hitler’s speeches.

“After the Gold Rush” by Marie Brenner; Vanity Fair; 9/1990.

. . . . Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.

. . . . Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. . . . Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist. . . .

2b. An Alternet piece provides more detail about My New Order and how Trump has incorporated Hitler’s rhetorical style:

“Is Donald Trump Getting His Cues from Hitler? How the GOP Leader Is Following the Führer’s Recipe” by Steven Rosenfeld; Alternet; 12/10/2015.

. . . . Adolf Hitler’s My New Order is not just any book. It came after Hitler’s two-volume Mein Kampf (German for My Struggle), and was published in 1925 and 1926 before the Nazi rise to national power and World War II. It is not just a collection of excerpts from speeches Hitler made between 1918 and 1941; it is profusely indexed and filled with details about the speeches’ impact on the media and political establishment.

The American literary magazine Kirkus Review, founded in 1933, puts it this way: “Paralleling actual quotations from Hitler’s own utterances, he [the editor of the English edition] includes corresponding data showing the effect on the world press, and his own commentary relating the statements to doctrines previously presented in Mein Kampf… Section after section follows pattern-background, speech, press.” . . . . But it appears that one way or another, much of the content in My New Order about how Hitler says propaganda works, and how he structures his speaking style, and how Hitler targets the lowest-common denominator as his intended audience, has seeped into Trump: the way he speaks, argues, rages and responds in public. This goes beyond what has been reported in the New York Times, which analyzed 95,000 words from five months of speeches and concluded that Trump shares a style with the 20th century’s biggest demagogues.

Trump’s speeches are filled with simplistic racist attacks, first against Mexicans and more recently Muslims. He belittles and insults his competitors for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He attacks Democrats’ political “correctness” as weak. He mocks women and disabled people. He threatens to obliterate the enemies he names. He doesn’t care about facts or inconsistencies, and plays to his followers’ fears and prejudices.

All of these tactics, from the repetitive style of his speeches, to believing whatever he says is true, to his excessive and unrivaled view in his leadership, are modeled by Hitler in My New Order, according to a psychological profile of the book in the September 2013 issue of the scholarly journal, Psychiatric Quarterly. “The elements of a delusional system are there,” it states. “This is not simply to say that the man is mad and so has plunged the world into chaos; but it is to say that there is overwhelming evidence in 19 years of his speeches that Hitler himself firmly believes many of his most absurd declarations, including some which are contradictory.”

What is really stunning—whether or not he carefully read My New Order—is that Trump is channeling the very tenets about how propaganda works laid out by Hitler in his books. . . .

2d. A recent Trump campaign disclosure appears to be yet another “dog whistle” for Trump’s Nazi followers. Citing 88 high-ranking military officers supporting Trump, the Trump campaign is probably referencing the number as a long-standing numerical code for “Heil Hitler.” In the aftermath of the Allied occupation of Germany, it was forbidden to use the Nazi salute. Instead, “88” was given voice by the Nazi faithful–“H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

It is worth noting that, from an actuarial standpoint, the possibility that exactly 88 officers would have backed Trump is highly unlikely. The number could be anything, from the standpoint of probability.

That exact number–88–is very, very unlikely.

“Trump Announces 88 Top Former Military Officials Backing Him” by David Corn; Mother Jones; 9/6/2016.

. . . .(Last month, a group of 50 GOP national security wonks signed a letter declaring that Trump “would be a dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”) Now Trump is fighting back. On Monday, he released a list of 88 former generals and admirals who back his presidential bid. . . .

2e. The excuse–not credible–was given that “we were running out of time.”

“Donald Trump Is Endorsed by Nearly 90 Military Figures” by Maggie Haberman; The New York Times.; 9/6/2016.

. . . . Describing the group as “national security professionals for Trump,” Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, a retired Army officer who had been under consideration to be Mr. Trump’s running mate, said it came together organically.

“We had to stop accepting names because we were running out of time,” he said. . . .

3a. We have noted Trump’s real estate dealings in the past, and the opaque nature of his relationships. Organized crime elements are one of the elements for which Trump’s real estate empire apparently “fronts.”

A New York Times investigation revealed that German corporate elements are another major player in the complex Trump real estate dealings. The nature of the relationships is so complex that not even The Times could unravel some of the relationships.

Deutsche Bank and the Union Bank of Switzerland are major Bormann capital network players. The Hinneberg company, as a dominant international shipping concern and a major German corporation is almost certainly a major Bormann capital network player.

“Trump’s Empire: A Maze of Debts and Opaque Ties” by Susanne Craig; The New York Times; 8/21/2016.

. . . .Yet The Times’s examination underscored how much of Mr. Trump’s business remains shrouded in mystery. He has declined to disclose his tax returns or allow an independent valuation of his assets.

Earlier in the campaign, Mr. Trump submitted a 104-page federal financial disclosure form. It said his businesses owed at least $315 million to a relatively small group of lenders and listed ties to more than 500 limited liability companies. Though he answered the questions, the form appears to have been designed for candidates with simpler finances than his, and did not require disclosure of portions of his business activities. . . .

. . . .The Times found three other instances in which Mr. Trump had an ownership interest in a building but did not disclose the debt associated with it. In all three cases, Mr. Trump had passive investments in limited liability companies that had borrowed significant amounts of money.

One of these investments involves an office tower at 1290 Avenue of Americas, near Rockefeller Center. In a typically complex deal, loan documents show that four lenders — German American Capital, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank; UBS Real Estate Securities; Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company; and Bank of China — agreed in November 2012 to lend $950 million to the three companies that own the building. Those companies, obscurely named HWA 1290 III LLC, HWA 1290 IV LLC and HWA 1290 V LLC, are owned by three other companies in which Mr. Trump has stakes. . . . .

. . . .At 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, a limited liability company, or L.L.C., controlled by Mr. Trump holds the ground lease — the lease for the land on which the building stands. In 2015, Mr. Trump borrowed $160 million from Ladder Capital, a small New York firm, using that long-term lease as collateral. On his financial disclosure form that debt is listed as valued at more than $50 million. . . .

. . . .Tracing the ownership of many of Mr. Trump’s buildings can be a complicated task. Sometimes he owns a building and the land underneath it; sometimes, he holds a partial interest or just the commercial portion of a property.

And in some cases, the identities of his business partners are obscured behind limited liability companies — raising the prospect of a president with unknown business ties.

At 40 Wall Street, Mr. Trump does not own even a sliver of the actual land; his long-term ground lease gives him the right to improve and manage the building. The land is owned by two limited liability companies; Mr. Trump pays the two entities a total of $1.6 million a year for the ground lease, according to documents filed with the S.E.C.

The majority owner, 40 Wall Street Holdings Corporation, owns 80 percent of the land; New Scandic Wall Limited Partnership owns the rest, according to public documents. New Scandic Wall Limited Partnership’s chief executive is Joachim Ferdinand von Grumme-Douglas, a businessman based in Europe, according to these documents.

The people behind 40 Wall Street Holdings are harder to identify. For years, Germany’s Hinneberg family, which made its fortune in the shipping industry, controlled the property through a company called 40 Wall Limited Partnership. In late 2014, their interest in the land was transferred to a new company, 40 Wall Street Holdings. The Times was not able to identify the owner or owners of this company, and the Trump Organization declined to comment. . . .

3b. The program presents analysis of the relationship between Union Bank of Switzerland, the Nazi I.G. Farben chemical cartel and the Bormann capital network, economic component of a Third Reich gone underground and perpetuated Mafia-like through its connections to decisively powerful economic and political interests.

Note that UBS has helped capitalize the Thyssen industrial group with profound historical, political and commercial links to the Bush family, as well as the Underground Reich.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 160-161.

. . . .In 1948 a suit was to be filed by certain minority stockholders of Interhandel against the attorney general of the United States, as successor to the wartime Alien Property Custodian, and the U.S. Treasury, for the return of 89 percent of GAF (the American branch of I.G. Farben), of a value of $100 million plus $1.8 million seized in cash in 1942. Interhandel, through its American attorneys, first filed an administrative claim, which was denied. The suit then went to the District Court for the District of Columbia, then to the Supreme Court, and back to District Court. The Swiss claim was based on the argument that Interhandel was a Swiss corporation, that it was not nor had it ever been an enemy of the United States, and that it owned the shares in question. The American government rebuttal was that Interhandel was the result of a conspiracy between the private bank of H. Sturzenegger, formerly E.Greutert & Cie., and I.G. Farbenindustrie of Germany and others “to conceal, camouflage, and cloak the ownership, control, and combination by I.G. Farben of properties and interests in many countries of the world, including the U.S.”

As the case dragged through the U.S. courts, Schmitz would have Interhandel cosmeticized even more. Charles de Loes, past president of the Swiss Bankers Association, would be elected chairman, and the general manager of each of the Big Three banks would be appointed to the board. They would agree to this because the honor of Swiss banking and its principle of banking secrecy would be at stake. In addition, 25 percent of Interhandel stock would be registered in the name of Union Bank, whose manager, Dr. Alfred Schaefer, was of known integrity. The Swiss believed the association of such a man of high banking repute at Interhandel would impress American government authorities. But the German connection would still be there. Not only Hermann Schmitz, but also the banking connection of Union Bank of Switzerland, Dr. Schaefer’s bank, and Deutsche Bank, which acted in concert on so many deals involving not only I.G. Farben but also big Ruhr industrialists such as Thyssen A.G., the largest steelmaker in Germany. In January 1978 these two lead banks, acting through the UBS-DBCorporation, an American firm of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Deutsche Bank of Germany, would be the financial advisors for Thyssen A.G. in its $275 million cash takeover of the Budd Company of Troy, Michigan, a leading U.S. manufacturer of auto components, truck trailers, and rail cars. UBSDB Corporation would also say that the West German companies it represented were showing a “very substantial interest in all sorts of American ventures, including mergers and acquisition.” . . .

4a. Donald Trump’s bank of choice: Deutsche Bank! As the article below points out, it’s a long relationship going back to the early 90’s, with at least $2.5 billion lent. Even when the 2008 crash strained Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, the company’s private banking arm continued to back “The Donald.”

“When Donald Trump Needs a Loan, He Chooses Deutsche Bank” by Anupreeta Das; The Wall Street Journal; 3/20/2016.

Despite some clashes, the Republican front-runner has been a regular client of the German lender

One of Donald Trump’s closest allies on Wall Street is a now-struggling German bank.

While many big banks have shunned him, Deutsche Bank AG has been a steadfast financial backer of the Republican presidential candidate’s business interests. Since 1998, the bank has led or participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with Mr. Trump, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of public records and people familiar with the matter.

That doesn’t include at least another $1 billion in loan commitments that Deutsche Bank made to Trump-affiliated entities.

The long-standing connection makes Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, which has a large U.S. operation and has been grappling with reputational problems and an almost 50% stock-price decline, the financial institution with probably the strongest ties to the controversial New York businessman.

But the relations at times have been rocky. Deutsche Bank’s giant investment-banking unit stopped working with Mr. Trump after an acrimonious legal spat, even as another arm of the company continued to loan him money.

Other Wall Street banks, after doing extensive business with Mr. Trump in the 1980s and 1990s, pulled back in part due to frustration with his business practices but also because he moved away from real-estate projects that required financing, according to bank officials. Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are among the banks that don’t currently work with him.

At Goldman Sachs Group Inc., bankers “know better than to pitch” a Trump-related deal, said a former Goldman executive. Goldman officials say there is little overlap between its core investment-banking group and Mr. Trump’s businesses.

Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump dates to the 1990s. The bank, eager to expand in the U.S. via commercial-real-estate lending, set out to woo big New York developers such as Mr. Trump and Harry Macklowe.

One of the bank’s first loans to Mr. Trump, in 1998, was $125 million to renovate the office building at 40 Wall Street. More deals soon followed, with the bank agreeing over the next few years to loan or help underwrite bonds worth a total of more than $1.3 billion for Trump entities.

By 2005, Deutsche Bank had emerged as one of Mr. Trump’s leading bankers. That year, the German bank and others lent a Trump entity $640 million to build the 92-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. Deutsche Bank officials badly wanted the deal because it came with a $12.5 million fee attached, said a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Trump charmed the bankers, flying them on his private Boeing 727 jet, according to people who traveled with him.

But when the housing bubble burst, the relationship frayed.

In 2008, Mr. Trump failed to pay $334 million he owed on the Chicago loan because of lackluster sales of the building’s units. He then sued Deutsche Bank. His argument was that the economic crisis constituted a “force majeure”—an unforeseen event such as war or natural disaster—that should excuse the repayment until conditions improved.

His lawyers were inspired to invoke the clause after hearing former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan describe the crisis as a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami,” according to a person who worked on the case for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump also attacked Deutsche Bank’s lending practices and said that as a big bank, it was partially responsible for causing the financial crisis. He sought $3 billion in damages.

Deutsche Bank in turn sued Mr. Trump, saying it was owed $40 million that the businessman had personally guaranteed in case his company was unable to repay the loan.

Deutsche Bank argued that Mr. Trump had a cavalier history toward banks, quoting from his 2007 book, “Think Big And Kick Ass In Business And Life.”

“I figured it was the bank’s problem, not mine,” Mr. Trump wrote, according to the lawsuit. “What the hell did I care? I actually told one bank, ‘I told you you shouldn’t have loaned me that money. I told you that goddamn deal was no good.’”

The court rejected Mr. Trump’s arguments but the suit forced Deutsche Bank to the negotiating table. The two sides agreed to settle their suits out of court in 2009. The following year, they extended the original loan by five years. It was paid off in 2012—with the help of a loan from the German firm’s private bank.

While Deutsche Bank didn’t lose money on the deal, the fracas soured its investment bankers on working with Mr. Trump. “He was persona non grata after that,” said a banker who worked on the deal.

But not everyone within Deutsche Bank wanted to sever the relationship. The company’s private-banking arm, which caters to ultrarich families and individuals, picked up the slack, lending well over $300 million to Trump entities in the following years. . . .

4b. The fact that Donald Trump recently borrowed a large sum a money to one of the financial world’s biggest serial regulatory violators should become an issue in the 2016.

“Trump Has a Conflict-of-Interest Problem No Other White House Candidate Ever Had” by Russ Choma and David Corn; Mother Jones; 6/01/2016.

He owes at least $100 million to a foreign bank that’s battled with US regulators.

In his most recent financial disclosure statement, Donald Trump notes he has billions of dollars in assets. But the presumptive GOP nominee also has a tremendous load of debt that includes five loans each over $50 million. (The disclosure form, which presidential candidates must submit, does not compel candidates to reveal the specific amount of any loans that exceed $50 million, and Trump has chosen not to provide details.) Two of those megaloans are held by Deutsche Bank, which is based in Germany but has US subsidiaries. And this prompts a question that no other major American presidential candidate has had to face: What are the implications of the chief executive of the US government being in hock for $100 million (or more) to a foreign entity that has tried to evade laws aimed at curtailing risky financial shenanigans, that was recently caught manipulating markets around the world, and that attempts to influence the US government?

4c. George Soros led a group of three hedge funds that lended Trump $160 million in high-interest loans which was on top of the $650 million from Deutsche Bank. And we already know what happened to those Deutsche Bank loans (it was paid off with a new loan from Deutsche Bank’s private bank).

But what about that $160 million high-interest mezzanine loan Soros helped finance? Well, it’s not easy to find much information on that, but it turns out someone created a blog, aptly named trumpsoroschicago.wordpress.com, with just a single post dedicated solely to elucidating what happened from public sources. And it sure looks like that high-interest loan was also forgiven in 2012 and there’s no indication it was forgiven by issuing a new loan, but instead just forgiven. In past discussion and analysis, we noted that Soros got his start in business “Aryanizing” Jewish property in Hungary during the Holocaust. This may well have been a springboard to operating as what we have termed “a Bormann Jew.”

If Trump was indeed unable to pay back both his Deutsche Bank and mezzanine loans, that sounds circumstantially odd. It would be an odd time for massive loan forgiveness when the high-end Chicago skyscraper market was looking pretty good in 2012. The condo units on the Trump Tower were basically sold out by 2014, so business was clearly pretty good in the wake of that round of loan forgiveness.

All in all, it’s a very strange business story.

“Did George Soros Free Donald Trump of a $312 Million Debt?” by sorostrumpchicago; Trumpsoroschicago.wordpress.com; 3/19;2016.

* In 2005 Trump started construction on his skyscraper the Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago)
* To build the tower, Trump received a loan from Deutsche Bank for $650 million
* Trump also received a $160 million mezzanine loan* from a group of private investors including George Soros, Fortress Investment Group and Blackacre Capital (The loan was estimated by the Wall Street Journal of having a total value as high as $360 million with accrued interest)
* By October 2008 Trump had sold nearly $600 million in condo and condo-hotel units, more than half of the total value of all the units in his tower
* After seven years (2005-2012) Trump was on his way to paying off his main construction loan to Deutsche Bank
* For reasons unexplained to the public, the majority of Trump’s mezzanine loan was quietly forgiven by the loan’s original lenders
* No media outlet covering the deal has put together the pieces and told the public that George Soros let Donald Trump off the hook for what has been valued between $82 and $312 million in debt
* Why would Soros give what amounts to a massive debt relief to Trump during a financially successful period in Trump’s life? Are these men friends, enemies or business partners?

We have come across information related to a long and bizarre financial deal between Donald J. Trump, George Soros, Fortress Investment Group and Blackacre Capital, a deal discovered by following a specific on-going money trail and likely partnership between these entities.

In 2005, when Trump began financing the construction of the tallest residential tower on the North American continent the Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago), he needed more than just the basic loan he had received from Deutsche Bank. Trump needed what is called a “mezzanine loan”, a loan which is far more expensive than a regular bank loan. This kind of loan needs to be paid off more quickly to avoid high interest payments. It also needs to be paid back in full to keep the lender from taking ownership of the underlying asset.

“Mezzanine financing is basically debt capital that gives the lender the rights to convert to an ownership or equity interest in the company if the loan is not paid back in time and in full…

…Since mezzanine financing is usually provided to the borrower very quickly with little due diligence on the part of the lender and little or no collateral on the part of the borrower, this type of financing is aggressively priced with the lender seeking a return in the 20-30% range.” 1

Soros along with Fortress and Blackacre came to Trump with just such a loan at a costly $160 million principal*. The Wall Street Journal had valued the loan at as much as $360 million, depending on the length of time it accrued interest.

“Donald Trump has lined up three New York hedge funds, including money from billionaire George Soros, to invest $160 million in his Chicago skyscraper, a key piece in perhaps the largest construction financing in the city’s history, according to real estate sources and public documents… The massive financing, which sources say also will include a $650 million construction loan from Deutsche Bank…” 2

“Big names back Trump tower” Chicago Tribune – October 28, 2004

“A loan document says Mr. Trump could have to pay Fortress as much as $360 million, depending on how long the loan accrues interest. Combined with the Deutsche Bank senior loan, he would owe more than $1 billion in total.” 3

“In Chicago, Trump Hits Headwinds” The Wall Street Journal – October 29, 2008

By October 2008, the tower was almost complete and Trump had sold nearly $600 million in condo and condo-hotel units, more than half of the total value of all units in the tower.

“So far, Mr. Trump has lined up buyers for a bit less than $600 million of condo units and condo-hotel units in a residential market that has virtually seized up… He has closed around $200 million in sales so far, with roughly $380 million still in contract.”3

“In Chicago, Trump Hits Headwinds” The Wall Street Journal – October 29, 2008

In 2012, Trump continued to owe money to his lenders but sales of his condominiums had picked up and his tower had a 69% occupancy rate. As Crain’s Chicago put it: “The region’s housing and condo market is still mired in a historic slump. But when it comes to buying and selling in Chicago’s high-end condo market, life is surprisingly good… Condominium owners at the $850 million Trump International Hotel & Tower and other newer top-end buildings have, more often than not, experienced value appreciation when they sold in recent years.”4

While Trump was not yet making a profit on his tower, his sales and value appreciations were such that his building was generating significant revenue, more than enough revenue to pay back to his lenders large portions of his loans. As former New York real estate developer David Rose writes in his article “How to pay off a Skyscraper”:

“After a number of years have passed, several things are likely to have happened: 1) the mortgage has been significantly paid down; 2) the value of the underlying building has increased; and 3) the owner has waited for a time in the economic cycle where mortgage rates are low. At that point [they] will ‘refinance’ the original mortgage, and put the balance to work somewhere else where it can make even more money.”5

“How Long Does It Take To Pay Off a Skyscraper?” Slate – July 12, 2012

(Fortunately for Trump, favorable financial conditions existed in 2012. 6By all accounts, including his own, Trump was ready and able to pay off the loans for his Chicago tower. 7)

Yet Trump did not have to worry about paying back the majority of his mezzanine loan. A special group of lenders came in and erased a significant portion of this obligation.

That group was the original mezzanine loan lenders: Soros, Fortress and Blackacre; all of whom decided to forgive Trump’s future interest payments on the loan, selling it to him at the massively reduced price of $48 million. To put that in starker terms, Soros and the others effectively gave Trump possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in debt forgiveness, while cutting down the principal of his loan by $82 million**. Basically, Soros and the others forgave Trump as much as $312 million for no apparent reason.

“Donald Trump has paid $48 million to buy out junior creditors on his 92-story Chicago condominium and hotel project… The New York developer says he bought the debt, which had a face value of $130 million, back from a group of creditors led by Fortress Investment Group.” 8

“Trump buys out tower creditors” Crain’s Chicago Business– March 28, 2012

In a further twist to the story, in the same article from Chicago Business revealed: “After buying out the junior debt [the mezzanine loan], Mr. Trump says he now owes about $120 million on the building that comes due in 1½ years.”8

The aforementioned shows us that in 2012 Trump had already paid off most of the Deutsche Bank loan before Soros, etc. came in and wiped out most of his mezzainine debt. This raises the question, why wasn’t Trump expected by Soros, Fortress and Blackacre to pay back their riskier, high-interest mezzanine loan? Also, how was Trump able to pay down his Deutsche Bank loan – demonstrating the means to pay off all his loans – yet still have Soros and the others give him somewhere between $82 million and $312 million in debt forgiveness?

Additionally to that, why have we heard almost nothing about this gigantic giveaway to Trump? And why were Soros and Blackacre, two of the three main investors in the mezzanine loan, scrubbed from media’s coverage of the final debt forgiveness deal? What backroom agreements were made concerning this mezzanine loan?

And indeed, not only was this deal made in a cloaked manner, it may have been the most generous amount of debt forgiveness ever given on a mezzanine loan to a borrower who was in good financial health and who had a steadily appreciating asset, as was Trump and his Chicago tower.

Footnotes:

*Two articles quote the total for the mezzanine loan at $130 million, however due to the limited coverage of the deal we do not know at this time which is the true figure. 67

**If we were to rely on the original figure of the $160 million principal, this would be $112 million giveaway on the loan’s principle to Trump

Sources:

1. “Mezzanine Financing” Investopedia:http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mezzaninefinancing.asp
2. “Big names back Trump tower” Chicago Tribune – October 28, 2004:http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-10-28/news/0410280265_1_donald-trump-soros-fund-management-blackacre-institutional-capital-management
3. “In Chicago, Trump Hits Headwinds” The Wall Street Journal – October 29, 2008:http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122523704293478077
4. “Trumped up: Trophy towers’ condos rise above housing slump” Crain’s Chicago Business – April 14, 2012:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120414/ISSUE01/304149974/trumped-up-trophy-towers-condos-rise-above-housing-slump
5. “How Long Does It Take To Pay Off a Skyscraper?” Slate – July 12, 2012:http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2012/07/12/how_long_does_it_take_to_pay_off_a_skyscraper_.html
6. “Mortgage rates sink to new record low” CNN Money – June 7, 2012:http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/07/real_estate/mortgage-rates/
7. “The 400 Richest Americans – #134 Donald Trump” Forbes – Sept. 17, 2008:http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
8. “Trump buys out tower creditors” Crain’s Chicago Business – March 28, 2012:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20120328/CRED03/120329769/trump-buys-out-tower-creditors
9. “Trump sues lenders for more time to pay off loan on Tower” Chicago Real Estate Daily – November 07, 2008:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20081107/CRED03/200031749/trump-sues-lenders-for-more-time-to-pay-off-loan-on-tower

4d. We review the profound relationship of the Bormann capital network and Deutsche Bank:

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 139, 205.

. . . . When Bormann gave the order for his representatives to resume purchases of American corporate stocks, it was usually done through the neutral countries of Switzerland and Argentina. From foreign exchange funds on deposit in Swiss banks and in Deutsche Sudamerikanishe Bank, the Buenos Aires branch of Deutsche Bank, large demand deposits were placed in the principal money-center banks of New York City; National City (now Citibank), Chase (now Chase Manhattan N.A.), Manufacturers and Hanover (now manufacturers Hanover Trust), Morgan Guaranty, and Irving Trust. Such deposits are interest-free and the banks can invest this money as they wish, thus turning tidy profits for themselves. In return, they provide reasonable services such as the purchase of stocks and transfer or payment of money on demand by customers of Deutsche bank such as representatives of the Bormann business organizations and and Martin Bormann himself, who has demand accounts in three New York City banks. They continue to do so. The German investment in American corporations from these sources exceeded $5 billion and made the Bormann economic structure a web of power and influence. The two German-owned banks of Spain, Banco Aleman Transatlantico (now named Banco Comercial Transatlantico), and Banco Germanico de la America del Sur, S.A., a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank served to channel German money from Spain to South America, where further investments were made. . . .

. . . . The [FBI] file revealed that he had been banking under his own name from his office in Germany in Deutsche Bank of Buenos Aires since 1941; that he held one joint account with the Argentinian dictator Juan Peron, and on August 4, 5 and 14, 1967, had written checks on demand accounts in first National City Bank (Overseas Division) of New York, The Chase Manhattan Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., all cleared through Deutsche Bank of Buenos Aires. . . .

5. In connection both with Trump’s real estate holdings and John P. Schmitz’s corporate work, we review the control of German industry and finance by the Bormann network.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile by Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 by Paul Manning; Lyle Stuart Inc. [HC]; ISBN 0-8184-0309-B; pp. 284-285.

. . . Atop an organizational pyramid that dominates the industry of West Germany through banks, voting rights enjoyed by majority shareholders in significant cartels, and the professional input of a relatively young leadership group of lawyers, investment specialists, bankers, and industrialists, he [Bormann] is satisfied that he achieved his aim of helping the Fatherland back on its feet. To ensure continuity of purpose and direction, a close watch is maintained on the profit statements and management reports of corporations under its control elsewhere. This leadership group of twenty, which is in fact a board of directors, is chaired by Bormann, but power has shifted to the younger men who will carry on the initiative that grew from that historic meeting in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. Old Heinrich Mueller, chief of security for the NSDAP in South America, is the most feared of all, having the power of life and death over those deemed not to be acting in the best interests of the organization. Some still envision a Fourth Reich. . . What will not pass is the economic influences of the Bormann organization, whose commercial directives are obeyed almost without question by the highest echelons of West German finance and industry. ‘All orders come from the shareholders in South America,’ I have been told by a spokesman for Martin Bormann. . . . 

theythoughttheywerefree

6. In FTR #s 918 and 919, we detailed our view that Trump’s benign statements about Russia, Ukraine and Putin are of the same nature as the 1949 “Open Letter to Stalin” published in the Buerger Zeitung. They are intended to precipitate a “bidding war” between the West and Russia, to the eventual betterment of Germany.

We may very well see, ultimately, a non-NATO, non-nuclear, “European War Union” replace NATO, along with a Russia-inclusive trade union stretching “from Liston to Vladivostok.”  The “European War Union” would be sold to Russia as a less threatening entity than the U.S.-led NATO.

We present a text excerpt illustrating how long this German-sponsored “East vs. West” bidding war conducted for the benefit of Germany has been going on.

In the closing stages of World War II, Walter Schellenberg, in charge of foreign intelligence for the SD (the SS intelligence service) played the “Ostpolitik” card to Allen Dulles, who, in turn, played it to the State Department. This was a successful gambit, and helped lay the groundwork for the resurgence of the Underground Reich and the return to power of Nazis in the “new” Germany.

The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA by Burton Hersh; Charles Scribner’s & Sons [HC]; Copyright 1992 by Burton Hersh; ISBN 0-684-19348-5; pp. 121-123.

It now became priority number one that as much of Western Europe as possible fall to the capitalist West, and as intact as possible. To this end, [Walter] Schellenberg seems to ave concocted an extremely subtle disinformation campaign, designed largely to convince one man. On February 4, 1945, Allen Dulles wired the State Department that “Colonel MASSON head of Swiss SI who, as previously reported has had close contact with his German opposite number SCHELLENBERG advised that envoy from Schellenberg was here and hinted he wanted to see me. Envoy apparently tried to create impression that stiff resistance on West Front and maintenance Italian Front as contrasted with rapid withdrawal East Frontwas part of plan to open all of Germany to Russia but that possibly if Anglo-Saxons disposed to modify unconditional surrender contact with Western Powers might be useful. Envoy also hinted at some understanding between Germany and Russia to open door to latter.

“Believing that this might be trap to cause trouble between Russians and ourselves particularly at this junction I expressed NO interest in seeing envoy.”

By the time he reached the Allied Command in Paris a week later, Dulles had apparently reconsidered. In an extended report dated February 11 from Robert Murphy to European Affairs Division Chief Matthews at State, Murphy alludes to the SS approach and summarizes Dulles’s estimate: “Allen said that all indications currently received from Germany indicate a definite trend toward the idea that Germany’s only salvation lies to the East. The conviction seems to be growing that while the Russians may be hard and brutal, even cruel, and that they will punish the principal National Socialist offenders, they still offer an affirmative economic and industrial future which will protect the Germans against starvation and poverty. They believe that the Russians will be dependent on German industrial products which means that German plants will continue to work at full capacity and that the unemployment problem will thus be solved.

“on the other hand, looking at the West, the Anglo-Americans offer nothing of an affirmative nature and the principal publicity is to the effect that the American intention is to reduce Germany to an agricultural basis with no provision for the millions employed in industry.” To overcome the much-publicized Morgenthau plan proposals, “Dulles urged very vigorously that something of an affirmative nature be communicated in one form or another to the German people and also that some explanation of what we have in mind under the policy of unconditional surrender be given. He expressed the conviction that chaos will reign in Germany after the collapse.” Since the day he arrived in Bern, Allen had been insisting that only the fear of Communism inhibited the German resistance. Dulles now pushed for the exploitation of captured German officers to sway the population in the Reich, since “Russian military successes in the East are due not alone to military prowess but to treachery behind the lines, a good part of which has been inspired by the German generals now in Russian hands.” . . . .

. . . . By insinuating that Germany might prefer the Bolsheviks, the SD intellectuals were angling unceasingly for negotiating leverage. . . .

7. Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien attacked the cable news business has behaved irresponsibly in this election and presented a “Serpent’s Walk”-style platform for Nazi/white supremacist views: ” . . . ‘If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,’ O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. ‘I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful. I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,’ she noted. ‘And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that. . . . The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is ‘softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television? And the answer is yes, clearly,’ she said. ‘And there is lots of evidence of that.’ . . .”

“Soledad O’Brien Eviscerates CNN: ‘You Have Normalized’ White Supremacy with Shoddy Trump Reporting” by David Edwards; Raw Story; 9/04/2016.

Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien blasted the cable news business over the weekend for profiting off the hate speech that has fueled Donald Trump’s political rise.

According to O’Brien, the media had gone through “contortions to make things seem equal all the time” when comparing Trump to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,” O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. “I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful.”

“I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,” she noted. “And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that.”

“And then Donald Trump will say, ‘Hillary Clinton, she’s a bigot.’ And it’s covered, the journalist part comes in, ‘They trade barbs. He said she’s a bigot and she points out that he might be appealing to racists.’ It only becomes ‘he said, she said.’ When in actuality, the fact that Donald Trump said she’s a bigot without the long laundry list of evidence, which if you looked at Hillary Clinton’s speech, she actually did have a lot of really good factual evidence that we would all agree that are things that have happened and do exist. They are treated as if they are equal.”

O’Brien insisted “that’s where journalists are failing: the contortions to try to make it seem fair.”

The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is “softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television?”

“And the answer is yes, clearly,” she said. “And there is lots of evidence of that.”

O’Brien observed that cable news outlets were effectively being rewarded for bad behavior.

“So hateful speech brings a really interested, angry audience,” she noted. “This is genius! We should do this more often. What shall we do when this election is over? We’re going to have to think about ways to really rile people up, make them angry and divide them.”

“Because that is something that cable news, frankly, and everybody can cover really well,” O’Brien lamented. “So, I find it very frustrating. I believe he was over-covered at the beginning.”

“Now, it is ‘he said, she said’ all the time. We have lost context. We actually don’t even cover the details of something. We just cover the back and forth of it. It’s funny to watch if it weren’t our own country and our own government actually operating.”

8. The program concludes with a German university professor’s account of what it was like to live during the rise of Hitler. Note the similarity to aspects of the contemporary political landscape. Consider Donald Trump and Hitler.

They Thought they Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945; by Milton Mayer; copyright 1955 [SC]; University of Chicago Press; ISBN 0-226-51190-1; pp. 166-172.

“‘What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret, to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand because of national security, so dangerous that even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him may have incidentally reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it. Their trust in him made it easier to reassure others who might have worried about it. This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real crises and reforms too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of the Government growing remoter and remoter.

“The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was, above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?”

“‘To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.’”

“‘How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated extraordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have changed here before they went as far as they did; they didn’t, but they might have. And everyone counts on that might.’”

“‘Your Little Men, your Nazi friends, were not against National Socialism in principle. Men like me, who were, are the greater offenders, not because we knew better (that would be too much to say) but because we sensed better. Pastor Niemoller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke too modestly of himself) and said that when the Nazis attacked the communists he was a little uneasy but, after all he was not a communist, and so he did nothing and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something, but then it was too late.’ ‘Yes’ I said”

“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me this is true. Each act, each shocking occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for that one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?–Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.”

“Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences. In Germany, outside the great cities perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in you own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or you’re an alarmist.”

“And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end and how do you know or even surmise the end? On the one hand your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally people who have always thought as you have.”

“But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.” “But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in’43 had come immediately after the ‘German firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at step C. And so on to D.”

“And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation your people –is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed, because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility, even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.”

“You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living, more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

“Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing).”

Discussion

5 comments for “FTR #921 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 4: Trump on the Stump (The Underground Reich Emerges Into Plain View, Part 2)”

  1. One of the interesting and disturbing quirks about the modern media age over the last couple of decades, as originally exemplified by the rise and dominance of “Big Lie” outlets like Fox News and the media’s hysterics over every last alleged Clinton scandal throughout the 90’s, is that the emergence of the “24 hour cycle” and multiple cable news channels coincided with the emergence of a media culture where basically only one or two “big” stories get talked about by the chattering classes on a given day. And often times it’s the same “big” handful of stories that were covered the previous day, with superficial coverage at best or straight up disinfo.

    Sure, the US media has always had major problems, but things somehow got worse. A lot worse. As more and more Americans came to rely exclusively in TV news, or just stopped paying attention all together, the media turned into Short Attention-Span Theater. The collective working memory – or the ability to maintain multiple concepts in one’s head at a given moment for the purpose of analysis and problem solving – collapsed the industry tasked with maintaining a meaningful national discourse and the kind of media environment that allows for a comprehensive understand of complex situations effectively disappeared. But, perhaps most chillingly, all of this happened with minimal media coverage of it happening. It was like the nation developed Alzheimer’s and no one ever told it.

    Now, flash forward a couple decades and what do we find? We find ourselves trans and fixed and trapped by the maelstrom of lies from a far-right reality TV star. It’s one of those disaster scenarios that’s simultaneously outlandish and inevitable consequence of a media that has proven itself unable to deal with reality:

    The New York Time
    op-Ed

    Donald Trump’s ‘Big Liar’ Technique

    Paul Krugman
    SEPT. 9, 2016

    Long ago, you-know-who suggested that propagandists should apply the “big lie” technique: make their falsehoods so huge, so egregious, that they would be widely accepted because nobody would believe they were lying on that grand a scale. And the technique has worked well for despots and would-be despots ever since.

    But Donald Trump has come up with something new, which we can call the “big liar” technique. Taken one at a time, his lies are medium-size — not trivial, but mostly not rising to the level of blood libel. But the lies are constant, coming in a steady torrent, and are never acknowledged, simply repeated. He evidently believes that this strategy will keep the news media flummoxed, unable to believe, or at least say openly, that the candidate of a major party lies that much.

    And Wednesday night’s “Commander in Chief” televised forum suggested that he may be right.

    Back to the issue: All politicians are human beings, which means that all of them sometimes shade the truth. (Show me someone who claims to never lie, and I’ll show you someone who is lying.) The question is how much they lie, and how consequentially.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, Hillary Clinton has been cagey about her email arrangements when she was secretary of state. But when you look at what the independent fact-checkers who have given her a “pants on firepants on fire” or “four Pinocchios” rating on this issue actually have to say, it’s remarkably weak: She stands accused of being overly legalistic or overstating the extent to which she has been cleared, but not of making major claims that are completely at odds with reality.

    Oh, and it barely got covered in the media, but her claim that Colin Powell advised her to set up a private email account was … completely true, validated by an email that Mr. Powell sent three days after she took office, which contradicts some of his own claims.

    And over all, her record on truthfulness, as compiled by PolitiFact, looks pretty good for a politician — much better than that of any of the contenders for the Republican nomination, and for that matter much better than that of Mitt Romney in the last presidential election.

    Mr. Trump, on the other hand, is in a class of his own. He lies about statistics like the unemployment rate and the crime rate. He lies about foreign policy: President Obama is “the founder of ISIS.” But most of all, he lies about himself — and when the lies are exposed, he just keeps repeating them.

    One obvious question going into Wednesday’s forum was whether Mr. Trump would repeat his frequent claim that he opposed the Iraq war from the start. This claim is demonstrably false: His only documented prewar remarks on the subject support the war, and the interview he likes to cite as evidence of his prescience took place more than a year after the war began. But he keeps saying it anyway; if he did it again, how would Matt Lauer, the moderator, respond?

    Well, he did do it again — and Mr. Lauer, who used about a third of his time with Mrs. Clinton talking about emails, let it stand and moved on to the next question.

    Why is it apparently so hard to hold Mr. Trump accountable for blatant, in-your-face lies? Part of the answer may be that journalists are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of outrageous material. After all, which Trump line should be the headliner for a news analysis of Wednesday’s event? His Iraq lie? His praise for Vladimir Putin, who ““has an 82 percent approval rating””? His denigration of the American military, whose commanders, he says, have been “reduced to rubble”?

    There’s also a deep diffidence about pointing out uncomfortable truths. Back in 2000, when I was first writing this column, I was discouraged from using the word “lie” about George W. Bush’s dishonest policy claims. As I recall, I was told that it was inappropriate to be that blunt about the candidate of one of our two major political parties. And something similar may be going on even now, with few people in the media willing to accept the reality that the G.O.P. has nominated someone whose lies are so blatant and frequent that they amount to sociopathy.

    Even that observation, however, doesn’t explain the asymmetry, because some of the same media organizations that apparently find it impossible to point out Mr. Trump’s raw, consequential lies have no problem harassing Mrs. Clinton endlessly over minor misstatements and exaggerations, or sometimes over actions that were perfectly innocent. Is it sexism? I really don’t know, but it’s shocking to watch.

    And meanwhile, if the question is whether Mr. Trump can really get away with his big liar routine, the evidence from Wednesday night suggests a disheartening answer: Unless something changes, yes he can.

    “And meanwhile, if the question is whether Mr. Trump can really get away with his big liar routine, the evidence from Wednesday night suggests a disheartening answer: Unless something changes, yes he can.”

    It sure does look like the ‘Big Liar’ strategic is a very viable path the most powerful office in the world, which is indeed rather disheartening. Perhaps even bone-chillingly terrifying. And we haven’t even seen what it would be like if Trump was actually elected. Just imagine the blizzard of daily outrages he could unleash. Especially when the Trump administration learns that all it needs to do to cover up some sort of horrific policy outrage is say something insensitive to create a distraction outrage. What percent of policy outrages would even be acknowledge by a media that can only cover one or two stories and day without any historic context and can’t help but immediately forget all the previous things Trump said and did in a rush to cover the latest crazy thing he said or did? Would at least half of President Trump’s policy outrages get any mainstream coverage at all or is that too optimistic?

    These are the kinds of surrealist questions we get to ask now that were decades into the reality TV era of news. And while some of those questions are sort of unanswerable, there are some answers we can obtain of what to expect. For instance, if you’re wondering what type of white nationalist dystopia Trump’s “Alt-Right” neo-Nazi backers would like to create while Trump’s “Big Liar” strategy basically gives them media cover while mainstreaming their ideas, there’s no need to ask Trump or any point since he’ll just lie. Instead, just ask the Alt-Right. They’re happy to share their vision for a Trumpian future:

    Mother Jones

    Alt-Right Movement Presents Its Vision for an All-White Society With Trump Paving the Way
    In a bizarre press conference, these white nationalists hailed the GOP nominee’s style.

    Pema Levy
    Sep. 9, 2016 5:54 PM

    The alt-right movement, reveling in the spotlight cast upon it by the Donald Trump campaign, made its debut to the mainstream media on Friday with a press conference to lay out its goal of an all-white society and its love for Trump.

    The once-fringe movement has suddenly found a prominent place in the Trump campaign and among its most loyal backers. Stephen Bannon, the Trump campaign CEO, was until recently the head of the conservative website Breitbart News, which he called “the platform for the alt-right.” But the movement’s moment in the limelight got off to a rough start.

    Originally set to be held at the National Press Club, Friday’s event was canceled earlier in the week when the venue scuttled it amid security concerns. Not to be deterred, the alt-right leaders came up with a new plan: a secret location.

    Reporters covering the event were instructed to go to the entrance of the Old Ebbitt Grill, near the White House. There, they would encounter a man in a charcoal suit and brown tie who would reveal the new location of the conference. Shortly after 1 p.m., I approached the restaurant and saw the man in the gray suit standing outside. He instructed me to round the corner to the Willard Hotel and make my way downstairs to the Peacock Lounge. Soon after I arrived, Richard Spencer, the man who coined the term “alt-right,” kicked off the event.

    Spencer invited two prominent members of the movement to join him. One was Peter Brimelow, the founder of the website VDARE.com, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an “immigrant-bashing hate site that regularly publishes works by white supremacists, anti-Semites, and others on the radical right.” (Brimelow freely admitted during the event that he publishes white nationalists.) The other was Jared Taylor, a self-described “race realist” who explained why the white race is superior to all others (except for East Asians, he said, who are superior to whites). The audience was a mix of reporters and what appeared to be alt-right members and fans.

    Spencer had fashioned a logo for the occasion, consisting of a golden triangular letter A followed by an R made of two stacked triangles. He said it had a young, futuristic look, in contrast to the flags and eagles that adorn the logos of the past. So what did these futuristic triangles represent? Spencer proposed the following “mantra” for his movement: “Race is real, race matters, and race is the foundation of identity.” The ultimate ideal is that the world be divided into ethno-states so that white people could have a “homeland.”

    Spencer’s ideas about race are intertwined with his support for Trump. Spencer explained that he likes Trump’s immigration policy, which not only calls for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants but also reduces legal immigration into the country. (Spencer’s ideal policy would also favor immigrants from Europe.) But as Spencer put it, it’s Trump’s more intangible qualities that make him a hero of the alt-right. To Spencer, Trump’s brash style suggests a white savoir, unwilling to be bullied by the politically correct crowd.

    “I don’t think our support of Trump is really about policy at the end of the day,” Spencer said. “I think it’s really about Trump’s style, the fact that he doesn’t back down, the fact that he’s willing to confront his enemies…You look at that and you think, ‘This is what a leader looks like.'”

    Spencer continued, “It really is about him and it’s about, in a way, projecting onto him our hopes and dreams. There’s something called ‘me magic,’ and that is a self-fulfilling prophecy…We want to make Trump; we want to imagine him in our image. And that is maybe—you can see that in a meme of Trump as a Napoleon or Trump as some figure out of the Dune novels in an arcade of the future in a robotic suit of armor fighting enemies. All of that stuff is silly, all of that stuff is ridiculous, but it actually gets at something real and that is that we want something more, we want something heroic, we want something that is not defined by liberalism or individual rights or bourgeois norms. We want something that is truly European and truly heroic.”

    For this description, Spencer was greeted with much applause by his fans in the room. He elaborated that rather than a multicultural America, his ideal is a white empire. He described his “dream…ethno-state” as “a homeland for all Europeans,” which would take an “imperial form.”

    “It’s very similar to the idea of Zionism for Jews in the 19th century,” he said. “It’s actually very similar to the ideal of communism for the left in the 19th century. It’s not here, it’s in the future, we should dream about it.”

    What would this utopia look like? Spencer said it’s too far off to get into specifics. But he and Taylor, whose role at Friday’s event was to give academic assurances that the races of the world are not equal, disagreed on whether Jews would be welcomed into the white utopia homeland. Spencer took the position that they were not “European” and therefore would take their place in their own ethno-state. Taylor countered, “I don’t think that if a Jewish person identifies with the West and with Europe than that’s something that we should deny.” As Spencer acknowledged, the alt-right has yet to sort out these mere details.

    But Spencer did offer up a vision of an alt-right society. “If the alt-right were in power, we would all have arrived here via magnetic levitation trains,” he said. “We would have passed by great forests and beautiful images of blond women in a wheat field with their hands, running them through the wheat.” The audience tittered. “It would be a wonderful sight.”

    “Spencer had fashioned a logo for the occasion, consisting of a golden triangular letter A followed by an R made of two stacked triangles. He said it had a young, futuristic look, in contrast to the flags and eagles that adorn the logos of the past. So what did these futuristic triangles represent? Spencer proposed the following “mantra” for his movement: “Race is real, race matters, and race is the foundation of identity.” The ultimate ideal is that the world be divided into ethno-states so that white people could have a “homeland.”

    That’s right, the founder of the “Alt-Right”, a movement the Trump campaign basically put at the top of the ticket with the selection of Steven Bannon as the campaign manager, just unfurled his movement’s new logo. To the press. A logo designed to symbolize and exalt racial identity politics. Which, again, was revealed at an event they invited the national press to.

    Sure, outlets like Mother Jones covered it. But has there been any other big mainstream news stories about Trump’s “Alt-Right” superfans, a core constituency of the Trump campaign and a movement Trump is working to to mainstream, discussing their vision for turn the US into a white ethno-nationalist state? Is there any mainstream coverage of the fact that the big divide within this key Trump constituency is over whether or not Jews will be allowed to live in their future whites-only America?

    No, instead it appears that this story didn’t make it on to the list of daily Trumpian outrages worthy of coverage. Maybe that’s due to all the attention currently being given to a comment Hillary Clinton made suggesting – which she prefaced by saying she was about to be grossly generalistic – that Trump’s backers includes a significant number of people with deplorable views. Maybe that’s the reason there’s so little coverage of the Alt-Right’s coming out party where they openly announced their love of Trump and vision for a whites-only imperial state. Because Hillary’s comment is clearly the big newsworthy story of the day:

    The Washington Post

    Clinton says she regrets labeling ‘half’ of Trump supporters ‘deplorable’

    By Abby Phillip and Jose A. DelReal
    September 10 at 2:31 PM

    Hillary Clinton’s claim at a fundraiser that half of Donald Trump’s supporters fit into a “basket of deplorables” prompted a swift and negative reaction Saturday from Republicans, including denunciations and calls for her to apologize.

    The comments echoed an accusation that Clinton has levied previously — that Trump appeals to and amplifies racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic viewpoints. But Clinton triggered a fresh controversy by claiming that “half” of Trump’s supporters fit that description.

    At a key moment in the campaign, when both candidates are trying to sharpen their focus for the final, post-Labor Day sprint, Clinton’s remarks took attention from Trump’s spate of gaffes this week and also from her own effort to turn the public’s attention to her qualifications for office and vision for the nation.

    “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables’. Right?” Clinton said to applause and laughter from supporters at an “LGBT for Hillary” fundraiser Friday night in New York that also featured a performance by Barbra Streisand. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.”

    She continued: “He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now how 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.

    “Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

    Condemnation for the first portion of her remarks came swiftly from Trump’s allies and from the candidate himself, who on Twitter called the remarks “so insulting” and predicted that Clinton would pay a price in the polls.

    In statement issued later Saturday, Trump said that Clinton’s “true feelings” had come out. “How can she be President of our country when she has such contempt and disdain for so many great Americans?” Trump said. “Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself.”

    Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway called for Clinton to apologize, something that Trump himself has never done in the face of controversy.

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, also weighed in: “Hillary Clinton’s low opinion of the people who support this campaign should be denounced in the strongest possible terms. The truth of the matter is that the men and women who support Donald Trump’s campaign are hard-working Americans. Let me say from the bottom of my heart: Hillary, they are not a basket of anything. They are Americans, and they deserve your respect.”

    Pence directly compared Clinton’s remarks to President Obama’s controversial 2008 comments about people who “cling to guns or religion.” He said that such statements should preclude her from being elected president.

    Others compared the controversy to 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comment. Even if the comparison was imprecise — at the most, Clinton’s comments referred to about a quarter of the electorate — the Trump campaign will seek to use them to further define Clinton in the remaining months of the election.

    In Romney’s case, he was recorded at a private fundraiser claiming that 47 percent of voters “will vote for the president no matter what” because they are “dependent upon government,” “believe that they are victims” and “pay no income tax.” The Republican was widely criticized for giving the impression that he was writing off half the country because of their economic status.

    Romney and Obama both made their remarks at private events, while Clinton knew she was on the record. Clinton’s aides defended her efforts to define a significant chunk of Trump’s supporters as out of step with American values, and the candidate issued a statement Saturday afternoon saying she regretted using the word “half” to describe those supporters.

    “That was wrong,” Clinton said. “But let’s be clear, what’s really ‘deplorable’ is that Donald Trump hired a major advocate for the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement to run his campaign and that David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values.”

    In the statement, Clinton blasted Trump specifically for his feud with a Muslim Gold Star family, his attacks against a Hispanic federal judge hearing two cases against him, and his prominent role in the “birther” movement promoting the idea that Obama was not born in the United States.

    In her remarks at the fundraiser, Clinton also called for empathy for the other “half” of Trump’s supporters.

    “That other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change,” Clinton said. “It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from.

    “They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different — they won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end,” she continued. “Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”

    Clinton’s spokesman, Nick Merrill, said on Twitter that “supporters” referred only to the people at Trump’s rallies.

    “She gave an entire speech about how the alt-right movement is using his campaign to advance its hate movement,” Merrill wrote. “Obviously not everyone supporting Trump is part of the alt-right, but alt-right leaders are with Trump.”

    “And their supporters appear to make up half his crowd when you observe the tone of his events,” he added.

    Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), said Saturday in an interview with The Washington Post that Clinton has nothing to apologize for.

    “She was generalizing and saying there are some of his supporters we’ll never get because they’re motivated by some dark motives, but there are other supporters that have legitimate concerns and questions about the economy, and we’ve got to speak to them in the campaign. And even to the extent that they vote against us, we still have to respond to their concerns if we have the opportunity to govern.”

    In an election cycle that has been more characterized by Trump’s controversies, Clinton’s comments represent a reversal of fortunes and a rare moment when she stepped on a news cycle that had not been favorable to Trump. The flap also comes as polls show Trump narrowing Clinton’s lead both nationally and in battleground states.

    Hours before Clinton’s remarks at the fundraiser, Trump was facing new criticism for appearing on a state-owned Russian television network to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin and disparage U.S. foreign policy. Clinton herself seized on those comments at a news conference earlier in the day.

    “I’m not sure anything surprises us anymore,” Clinton said. “But I was certainly disappointed that someone running for president of the United States would continue this unseemly identification with and praise of the Russian president, including on Russian television.”

    And in a wide-ranging speech Friday night, Trump said that as president, he would shoot Iranian boats out of the water if they make improper “gestures” toward American vessels, that Clinton is so protected from having to face consequences that she could murder someone in front of 20,000 witnesses and not face prosecution and that voters need to be “very, very vigilant” on Election Day.

    Ever since he installed new campaign leadership about three weeks ago, Trump has softened his tone on the campaign trail and mostly stuck to prepared rally speeches loaded onto teleprompters. That level of discipline seemed to fade Friday night during a rally in a packed arena in the Florida Panhandle.

    However, hours later, Trump’s allies seized on the “deplorables” comment to paint Clinton as dismissive of a large portion of voters.

    Although it wasn’t the first time that Clinton used such language to describe an element of Trump’s support, there have been no public reports in which she quantified the number or proportions.

    And an interview this week with Israeli TV, she used similar language — again without quantifying the amount of Trump’s support that she would call “the deplorables.”

    Weeks ago, Clinton also delivered a major speech devoted to Trump’s association with the alt-right, the name for a movement of white nationalist ideology.

    She accused Trump of irresponsibly highlighting those voices by amplifying their messages on Twitter. The speech was part of a broader case aimed at moderate Republicans and independent voters, whom the campaign is encouraging to break from Trump in part because of the alt-right figures who support him.

    Clinton reprised that part of her case against Trump at the fundraising event Friday night. But the furor over “deplorables” put her aides and supporters on the defense, and they attempted to refocus attention on the parts of Clinton’s remarks that called for mutual understanding.

    ““You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables’. Right?” Clinton said to applause and laughter from supporters at an “LGBT for Hillary” fundraiser Friday night in New York that also featured a performance by Barbra Streisand. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.””

    Ooooo….what an outrageous thing to say, especially after prefacing the remark with “to just be grossly generalistic” to make it clear that you’re about to engage in some degree of hyperbole. That’s clearly a much more important story to cover than the fact that the head of the Alt-Right movement, a movement popularized by the head of Trump’s campaign, just had a neo-Nazi coming out party in DC and invited the press there.

    Although it’s worth noting that there is one legitimate defense that the Trump campaign can give in response to the assertion that the Trump campaign’s base of support is infested with people holding deplorable views: Given the shocking success of Trump’s “Big Liar” strategy in preventing any meaningful mainstream news coverage of the Trump campaign’s extensive ties and the efforts to mainstream groups like the Alt-Right, it’s entirely possible that a number of Trump’s non-Alt-Right supporters really are genuinely clueless about the fact that they’re backing a candidate who supporters, and is supported by, white supremacists who are so open about their views that they just held a press conference about them.

    Obviously this is all Hillary’s fault and much more coverage of her culpability in this situation is warranted…to the exclusion of any meaningful coverage of the neo-Nazi nature of the Trump campaign and the “Big Liar” strategy he uses to simultaneously expose and obscure it. That is clearly what is required.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 10, 2016, 3:39 pm
  2. We appear to have reached some sort of metaphysical higher plane of trolling from the Trump campaign: In response to Hillary Clinton’s rather amusing and tame “basket of deplorables” comment, the Trump campaign has released a new TV add decrying Hillary’s “vicious demonization” of Trump’s supporters and now Trump is calling Hillary unfit to be president unless she fully apologizes.

    So Trump spends over a year now demonstrating to the world that you can successfully win the GOP presidential nomination by running a campaign that aggressively champions racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc and makes dog-whistling to neo-Nazis one of its key outreach strategies while hiring an “Alt-Right” campaign manager. Hillary then points out this extensive white nationalist contingent in Trump’s base, a contingent the Trump campaign has made pains to specifically court with endless dog-whistles, by making her “basket of deplorables” comment and that comment, according to Trump, disqualifies her from being president.

    Now, this is obviously hilariously cynical concern trolling on the part of the Trump campaign. It’s also the kind of concern trolling that actually invites and encourages the rest of the media to join in on the concern trolling by taking it at face value because any outlet that now seriously asks, “should Hillary Clinton drop out if she doesn’t completely retract her comment?” is now part of the Trump campaign’s concern trolling. But part of what makes the timing of this quite interesting is that this method of concern trolling is very similar to concern trolling the Trump campaign and right-wing media have been using for months now to raise questions about Hillary Clinton’s health. And this whole thing is happening right after Hillary almost faints at a 9/11 ceremony after catching pneumonia. It’s going to be a Trumpian concern trolling bonanza!

    So it looks like we’re on the verge of a week of epic Trumpian concern trolling, and it’s exactly the kind of concern trolling that the Trump campaign can use to the media to join in on and amplify: First, concern that Hillary is unfit for office because she described Trump’s carefully cultivated base of white nationalists and bigots as “a basket of deplorables.” Also, she’s unfit because her pneumonia really means she has some sort of horrible hidden illness.

    And as the article below notes, the Trump campaign isn’t even bothering to jump all of the Clinton health scare because they’re confident that the media will concern troll on their behalf without any Trumpian efforts (That’s teamwork!). Instead, the campaign is going to focus on how deplorable Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” comment was and how much it hurts their feelings. It appears the Trump campaign is convinced that this comment, and all the hurt feelings that it apparently generated from Trump’s base, could be the comment that sinks her campaign. Yep. The Trump campaign is actually trying to pull a “Have you no decency?” moment. Get ready to be concern trolled like you’ve never been concern trolled before

    Politico

    Trump shrugs at Clinton’s health to level ‘deplorables’ attack

    Showing restraint on Clinton’s health, Trump Tower urges surrogates to focus on the comment he thinks might undo her.

    By Shane Goldmacher

    09/12/16 12:48 PM EDT

    Updated 09/12/16 02:02 PM EDT

    Hillary Clinton handed Donald Trump two potentially detrimental storylines and, in a fresh bout of restraint, the Republican nominee hasn’t tried to grab both issues at once.

    Over the last 24 hours, Trump’s team has urged its surrogates, and the candidate himself, to tamp down talk of her health and instead focus unrelentingly on her casting tens of millions of his supporters into a “basket of deplorables,” calling them “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.” (Clinton has apologized for saying such labels applied to “half” his backers.)

    Trump, who bulldozed his way to the Republican nominee insulting his opponents and various ethnic and religious groups, expressed outrage at Clinton’s “vile,” “smearing” comments in a Baltimore speech before the National Guards Association in which he said the former secretary of state had disqualified herself from public office.

    Out: Trump’s 15-month focus on being political incorrect. In: Trump’s umbrage over something Clinton said that was politically incorrect — and a bold, new declaration that Clinton could no longer “credibly campaign” for the presidency.

    “You cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter,” Trump declared. “You cannot lead this nation is you have such a low opinion of its people.”

    Earlier on Monday, Trump said on Fox and Friends that the “basket of deplorables” remark was “the single biggest mistake of the political season.”

    His campaign sought capitalize quickly rolling out with a new TV ad on Monday morning — by far their fastest turn-around of the general election — accusing her of attacking, “People like you, you and you.” The ad was sent to TV stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina, the campaign announced, four battleground states that are the linchpin of any Trump path to the White House.

    The ad closes with the words “viciously demonized” appearing on screen. Trump used the exact same phrase in his Baltimore speech, another sign of new discipline and synergy between Trump on the stump and the campaign operating behind the scenes.

    The message that Trump and his surrogates are trying to drive: Clinton’s remarks offered a window into the “real” Hillary Clinton.

    “It shows the true side of her, she was relaxed, she was with friends, she was at a fundraiser, and then the real Hillary comes out. The fake Hillary’s saying, ‘I stand for all Americans,’” Rep. Chris Collins of New York, the first congressman to back Trump during the primary and a key Capitol Hill ally, said in an interview. “Well no, she just wrote off half of the Republican Party.”

    When Trump himself was asked on Fox about Clinton’s buckling-knees-episode and the later announcement from her campaign that she had pneumonia, he mostly pivoted. “I hope she gets well soon. I don’t know what’s going on,” Trump said.

    The belief among Trump’s allies and advisers is that the media will pursue the health storyline without him inserting himself, while he can keep the “deplorables” remark in the headlines. Trump got an assist from an unlikely source on Monday when one of President Obama’s former top advisers, David Axelrod, tweeted, “Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?”

    Collins praised Trump’s restraint around Clinton’s health and credited his new campaign manager.

    “The day that Kellyanne Conway came on board, Mr. Trump has been significantly more disciplined and on message and that’s not a coincidence,” Collins said.

    Indeed, Trump was hardly a perfect model of discipline on Monday. He called into CNBC and continued his use of a racialized slur against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (calling her “Pocahontas”), declared inaccurately that the Federal Reserve is “obviously not independent” and that its chair, Janet Yellen, “should be ashamed of herself” for keeping interest rates low.s

    But those comments seemed to quickly dissipate, and Trump’s Baltimore event provided fresh fodder for the “deplorables” storyline as Trump took offense to Clinton’s generalization of his supporters. “She divides people into baskets as though they were objects, not human beings,” Trump said.

    Then the candidate who has refused to apologize to anyone over anything specific — he’s offered broad regret once — despite more than a year of attacks demanded an apology for Clinton.

    “Hillary Clinton,” Trump noted, “still hasn’t apologized to those she’s slandered.”

    “You cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter…You cannot lead this nation is you have such a low opinion of its people.”

    Yep, the “Alt-Right” dream candidate actually, beloved by white supremacists, actually said that without a hint of irony. Because trolling works like that. At least that’s one way to troll. Another obvious trolling tactic that could be employed in this situation is to continue acting all hurt about being associated with white supremacists while simultaneously saying that you don’t mind being associated with them at all. Or, better yet, proclaim that you’re actually “honored” to be thrown in the same basket as the Alt-Right. That would be some YUUUGE trolling right there:

    Talking Points Memo Livewire

    Trump Ally, Son Share Meme Featuring Symbol Of White Nationalist Alt-Right

    By Allegra Kirkland
    Published September 12, 2016, 8:35 AM EDT

    Two members of Donald Trump’s inner circle shared memes on social media over the weekend featuring a symbol popular with the white nationalist alt-right.

    Riffing off of Hillary Clinton’s remark that some of Trump’s supporters are racists, misogynists, and xenophobes who belong in a “basket of deplorables,” the meme shared by Donald Trump Jr. and Trump ally Roger Stone showed key Trump allis photoshopped onto a poster from the move “The Expendables.” In the edited poster for “The Deplorables,” those armed staffers and Trump boosters are shown alongside Pepe the Frog, a cartoon figure that first cropped up on the 4chan website and has since become associated with the white supremacist movement online.

    Trump, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Ben Carson, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and alt-right figurehead Milo Yiannopoulos were among those in included in the image.

    “Apparently I made the cut as one of the Deplorables,” Trump Jr. wrote on Instagram in a caption accompanying the meme, saying he was “honored” to be grouped among Trump’s supporters.

    Informal Trump advisor Roger Stone shared the same image on Twitter, saying he was “so proud to be one of the Deplorables.”

    Pepe the Frog has emerged as an unofficial mascot of the alt-right, a loosely defined group of white nationalists who congregate online to debate IQ differences between the races and joke about burning Jewish journalists in ovens.

    Last fall, Trump himself shared a meme featuring himself as president Pepe. He has retweeted users with handles like @WhiteGenocideTM on multiple occasions.

    "@codyave: @drudgereport @BreitbartNews @Writeintrump "You Can't Stump the Trump" https://t.co/0xITB7XeJV pic.twitter.com/iF6S05se2w"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015

    Trump has disavowed support from the alt-right and white supremacists like former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, though he hired Steve Bannon, chairman of the alt-right promoting Breitbart News, as his campaign CEO in August.

    ““Apparently I made the cut as one of the Deplorables,” Trump Jr. wrote on Instagram in a caption accompanying the meme, saying he was “honored” to be grouped among Trump’s supporters.

    Bravo! In a tweet ostensibly intended to counter Hillary’s “deplorables” comments, Trump Jr. acknowledges that the figures in the retweeted “Deplorables” meme image, including Pepe the neo-Nazi mascot and Milo Yiannopoulos, are indeed “Trump’s supporters” and he’s “honored” to be grouped with them. Now that is some world class trolling right there!

    Overall, it looks like we’re in a fascinating situation where Hillary’s campaign may have, intentionally or unintentionally, set up a dynamic with this “basket of deplorables” comment that could peel off from the rest of his core supporters the part of Trump’s base that still isn’t comfortable backing an open white nationalist. And the Trump campaign’s response to prevent those non-“deplorable” (but merely deeply confused) supporters from getting embarrassed into dropping their support is to use those supporters as a kind of rhetorical human shield for his “deplorable” white nationalist core: If you call out its white nationalist core, the Trump campaign’s response is group all of its supporters in with that white nationalist core and decry “how dare you call all these decent people such despicable names,” while simultaneously sending out “plus, we’re honored to be associated with such deplorable people” memes. *winky wink!* Or, maybe something more like “plus, we’re honored to be associated with such non-deplorable people”:

    Talking Points Memo Editor’s Blog

    Pence Refuses to Call David Duke “Deplorable”

    By Josh Marshall
    Published September 12, 2016, 5:40 PM EDT

    Veep candidate Mike Pence is currently being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. And it’s not going terribly well. One key moment happened when Pence refused to call David Duke “deplorable.” Transcript after the jump …

    BLITZER: But [Clinton] said, there are supporters, and you know this, there are some supporters of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who, David Duke, for example, some other white nationalist, who would fit into that category of deplorables. Right?”

    PENCE: “As I’ve told you the last time I was on, I’m not sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name. Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly. We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of people who think like him.”

    BLITZER: “You called him a deplorable. You would call him a deplorable?”

    PENCE: “No, I’m not in the name-calling business, Wolf, you know me better than that.”

    There’s more from this interview, full report shortly.

    “As I’ve told you the last time I was on, I’m not sure why the media keeps dropping David Duke’s name. Donald Trump has denounced David Duke repeatedly. We don’t want his support and we don’t want the support of people who think like him.

    LOL! Someone might want to inform Mike that Donald Trump Jr and Roger Stone are, in fact, quite honored to be put in the same group as Pepe the neo-Nazi Frog and Milo Yianpopulous. Mike must not have checked his twitter feed for the Trump campaign’s latest super-secret neo-Nazi meme-tweets. How deplorable of him. *oops*

    As we can see, it isn’t easy being a non-deplorable Trump supporter. First you find yourself teamed up with a basket of deplorables, and the next thing you know The Donald throws you in the same basket with them and forces you to defend their deplorable honor while pretending they’re invisible and not really there at all. And then Mike Pence refuses to acknowledge the validity of calling anyone deplorable, even David Duke. Yeah, that has to be confusing.

    And in tangentially related news, the co-chair of “Veterans for Trump” decided to publicly speculate that Hillary Clinton caught pneumonia because she secretly has Parkinson’s disease. In case you’re assuming that this is the same co-chair of “Veterans for Trump” who recently clarified that Hillary should be shot for treason over her emails server (but not assassinated because that would be unreasonable, you see), no, that was Veteran’s for Trump co-chair Al Baldasaro. This latest co-chair was Daniel Tamburello. Both are very non-deplorable co-chairs for a very non-deplorable organization, no doubt.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 12, 2016, 2:54 pm
  3. Kentucky’s far-right governor, Matt Bevin, apparently isn’t satisfied with the large number of preventable deaths he’s creating with the gutting of Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion. Now he’s predicting, and basically calling for, much, much more widespread suffering and death. But only if Hillary wins, in which case the tree of liberty is going to need some watering:

    Right Wing Watch

    KY Gov. Matt Bevin: Election Of Hillary Clinton May Call For Shedding Blood Of ‘Tyrants’ And ‘Patriots’

    Submitted by Peter Montgomery on Monday, 9/12/2016 10:21 am

    Numerous speakers at last weekend’s Values Voter Summit suggested that the American republic might not survive a Hillary Clinton presidency. During the Obama administration it has become almost routine to hear far-right leaders talk about the possibility of armed revolution against the federal government. But it was still jarring to hear a sitting governor suggest that America might only survive the election of Hillary Clinton through bloodshed.

    Matt Bevin, who was elected governor of Kentucky last year after expressing “absolute” support for marriage-refusing county clerk Kim Davis, received the Distinguished Christian Statesman award from the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship on Friday night. Speaking on Saturday, he told VVS attendees that the country is facing a fork in the road: “We don’t have multiple options; we’re going one way or we’re going the other way, politically, spiritually, morally, economically, from a liberty standpoint. We’re going one way or we’re going the other way.”

    Bevin recounted a story from his college days about how he confronted a professor who he said mocked Christianity, the way liberals always do: “They try to silence us. They try to get us to shut our mouths. They try to embarrass us. Don’t be embarrassed. We were not redeemed to have a spirit of timidity.” He urged young people, “Be bold. There’s enough Neville Chamberlains in the world. Be a Winston Churchill…There are quite enough sheep already. Be a shepherd.”

    American freedom, Bevin said, was “purchased at an extraordinary price,” saying that one and a half million Americans have given their lives in uniform. “America is worth fighting for. America is worth fighting for, ideologically.”

    “I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically,” said Bevin. “But that may in fact be the case.” He explained that it might take the shedding of the blood of tyrants and patriots for America to survive a Hillary Clinton presidency:

    Somebody asked me yesterday, I did an interview and they said, “Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive? That we would ever be able to recover as a naton? And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ. But I will tell you this: I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away.

    “Somebody asked me yesterday, I did an interview and they said, “Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive? That we would ever be able to recover as a naton? And while there are people who have stood on this stage and said we would not, I would beg to differ. But I will tell you this: I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? …”

    What an optimistic message from the governor: Yes, it’s possible that the US could survive if Hillary becomes president given that we’re in a national “fork in the road”…. if the tree of liberty is watered in blood. But it’s possible! What a very non-deplorable statement.

    It’s also a statement that left the particular timing of a civil war rather vague if Hillary wins. The way Bevin was putting it, it could happen soon or generations from now. Roger Stone, on the other hand, recently share some more thoughts on the threat of violence should Hillary win and it sounds like it’s going to get bad fast. Like, get ready for roving hordes of Muslim rape gangs son. That fast, in which case it sounds like the tree of liberty is going to be getting a watering soon. Although not with any of Roger’s blood. You can’t get blood from a Stone. He’ll be fleeing to Costa Rica instead:

    The Hill

    Roger Stone: If Clinton wins, I’m moving to Costa Rica

    By Jessie Hellmann
    August 27, 2016, 01:32 pm

    Donald Trump supporter Roger Stone would move to Costa Rica if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

    “If Hillary wins, we’re done as a nation. We’ll be overrun by hordes of young Muslims, like Germany and France, raping, killing, violating, desecrating,” Stone said in an interview with the Financial Times.

    “If Hillary wins, there will be widespread unrest, civil disobedience, badly divided government in which half the country believes she, her daughter, and her husband belong in prison. There’ll be no goodwill. No honeymoon. There will be systematic inspection of all of her actions because someone who has been a crook in the past will be a crook in the future. It will be sad. I’ll probably be forced to move to Costa Rica.”

    “If Hillary wins, there will be widespread unrest, civil disobedience, badly divided government in which half the country believes she, her daughter, and her husband belong in prison. There’ll be no goodwill. No honeymoon. There will be systematic inspection of all of her actions because someone who has been a crook in the past will be a crook in the future. It will be sad. I’ll probably be forced to move to Costa Rica.”

    Keep in mind that if the post-election bloodshed the far-right has been pining for actually came to pass and got so bad that Roger Stone actually felt the need to flee to Costa Rica, he’s not fleeing alone. He’s presumably going to bring friends in that kind of situation. Very non-deplorable friends. And Roger Stone has a lot of non-deplorable friends. The kind of that Costa Rica probably doesn’t need hanging around.

    All in all, someone should probably warn Costa Rica that some sort of extreme immigrant vetting program might be necessary. Tough times ahead.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 12, 2016, 6:39 pm
  4. It looks like the incoming Trump administration won’t need to make the final conflict-of-interest-riddled call on penalizing Deutsche Bank over its role in the mortgage crisis. Deutsche Bank just formally settled:

    Reuters

    Deutsche Bank signs $7.2 billion deal with U.S. over risky mortgages

    Tue Jan 17, 2017 | 5:36pm EST

    By Karen Freifeld | NEW YORK

    Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) (DB.N) finalized a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its sale of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, the government agency said on Tuesday.

    Deutsche’s agreement represents the largest resolution for the conduct of a single entity in misleading investors in residential mortgage-backed securities, the department said in a statement. The settlement was higher than the $7 billion paid by Citigroup to federal and state authorities in 2014.

    “Deutsche Bank did not merely mislead investors: it contributed directly to an international financial crisis,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in the statement.

    John Cryan, Deutsche’s chief executive, said that the bank’s conduct between 2005 and 2007 fell short of standards and was “unacceptable.” He said the bank had exited many of the underlying activities and improved standards.

    Deutsche Bank ADR-listed shares closed down 3.2 percent to $18.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.

    The Frankfurt-based bank announced it had reached the agreement in principle with U.S. authorities on Dec. 23.

    Its stock price hit a record low in September after the bank acknowledged the Justice Department made an opening demand of $14 billion.

    The Justice Department reached $46 billion in settlements with U.S. banks over the shoddy securities that contributed to the U.S. housing market collapse and financial crisis before turning to Deutsche and other European banks.

    Other banks paid more than Deutsche, but their settlements also included wrongdoing by institutions they acquired during the crisis. Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), for instance, agreed to pay $16.7 billion, which also covered Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) settled for $13 billion, including misconduct by Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns.

    As part of its deal, Deutsche Bank will pay a civil monetary penalty of $3.1 billion and provide $4.1 billion in consumer relief to homeowners, borrowers and communities harmed by its practices.

    The bank also agreed to a statement of facts that describes how it made false and misleading representations to investors about the loans underlying billions of dollars worth of mortgage securities issued by the bank in 2006 and 2007.

    In May 2006, a supervisor is quoted as warning a senior trader that a loan originator would underwrite loans to anyone with “half a pulse”, according to the statement of facts.

    The supervisor also said that month that Deutsche Bank, among others, “tolerate[d] misrepresentation” from originators who accepted blacked out pay stubs to state that borrowers had higher incomes.

    Deutsche Bank also knew appraisals were inflated, and concealed second liens on properties.

    Separately, Deutsche Bank will slash bonuses for senior employees by about 90 percent, a move that will be announced on Wednesday, Spiegel reported.

    “”Deutsche Bank did not merely mislead investors: it contributed directly to an international financial crisis,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in the statement.”

    Well, that’s one conflict-of-interest bullet successfully dodged. One bullet from a conflict-of-interest machine gun with an seemingly unlimited clip.

    So finding out how a Trump administration will treat his preferred lender when things go awry will just have to wait for the next major financial crisis. 3…2…1…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 17, 2017, 8:02 pm
  5. Here’s a story that’s probably going to have a lot of people taking a second look at that https://trumpsoroschicago.wordpress.com blog describing the mysterious business relationship between Donald Trump and George Soros: It turns out Jared Kushner neglected to disclose his interest in Cadre, a real-estate tech startup Kushner co-founded in 2014 that ended up soliciting funds from a variety of politically noteworthy investors, including Peter Thiel and Chinese entrepreneur David Yu, co-founder with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma of a Shanghai-based private-equity firm. And it turns out that Cadre got a $250 million line of credit from the family office of George Soros, and that family office is also reportedly an investor:

    The Wall Street Journal

    Trump Adviser Kushner’s Undisclosed Partners Include Goldman and Soros
    Investments show ties to major finance and technology names

    By Jean Eaglesham, Juliet Chung and Lisa Schwartz
    Updated May 2, 2017 8:34 p.m. ET

    Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is currently in business with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and billionaires George Soros and Peter Thiel, according to people familiar with the matter and securities filings.

    The previously undisclosed business relationships with titans of the financial and technology worlds are through a real-estate tech startup called Cadre that Mr. Kushner co-founded and currently partly owns.

    Goldman and Messrs. Soros and Thiel, as well as other billionaires’ firms, also have stakes in the company, which is based in a Manhattan building owned by the Kushner family’s company, according to people close to Cadre.

    The Cadre stake is one of many interests—and ties to large financial institutions—that Mr. Kushner didn’t identify on his government financial-disclosure form, according to a Wall Street Journal review of securities and other filings. Others include loans totaling at least $1 billion, from more than 20 lenders, to properties and companies part-owned by Mr. Kushner, the Journal found. He has also provided personal guarantees on more than $300 million of the debt, according to the analysis.

    In his disclosure form filed earlier this year, Mr. Kushner didn’t identify Cadre as among his hundreds of assets. The Journal identified his Cadre stake through a review of securities and other filings as well as interviews with people familiar with the company and Mr. Kushner’s finances.

    Jamie Gorelick, a lawyer representing Mr. Kushner, said in a statement that his stake in Cadre is housed in a company he owns, BFPS Ventures LLC. His ownership of BFPS is reported on his disclosure form, although it doesn’t mention Cadre.

    Ms. Gorelick said the Cadre stake is described in a revised version of his disclosure form that will be made public after it has been certified by ethics officials. She said Mr. Kushner has previously discussed his Cadre ownership with the Office of Government Ethics and that Mr. Kushner has “resigned from Cadre’s board, assigned his voting rights and reduced his ownership share.”

    Ms. Gorelick said it is “very normal” for a financial-disclosure form to be revised and that the form was prepared by Mr. Kushner’s lawyers on his behalf. A White House spokeswoman referred questions to Mr. Kushner’s lawyer.

    Trevor Potter, a Republican former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and other ethics experts said investments such as Mr. Kushner’s ownership of Cadre typically need to be disclosed. They said Mr. Kushner didn’t appear to violate disclosure rules by not publicly reporting his business-related debts and guarantees. But they said such arrangements ideally should be disclosed, in part because they could force Mr. Kushner to recuse himself from certain issues involving the lenders.

    “Anything that presents a potential for the conflict of interest should be disclosed so that the public and the press can monitor this,” Mr. Potter said.

    Ethics experts’ concern is that Mr. Kushner’s business connections could jeopardize his impartiality in certain areas and that, absent disclosures, the public is in the dark about potential conflicts.

    Mr. Kushner’s rapidly expanding responsibilities range from working on a Middle East peace deal to making the federal government operate more efficiently. As a senior federal official, he is bound by ethics laws that require him to recuse himself from matters that would directly affect his financial interests.

    Ms. Gorelick, who was deputy attorney general in former President Bill Clinton’s administration, said Mr. Kushner will “recuse consistent with government ethics rules.”

    Mr. Kushner, the 36-year-old scion of a real-estate family, agreed with federal ethics officials to divest himself of more than 80 assets after he and his wife, Ivanka Trump, were hired by her father, President Donald Trump, as senior aides. White House officials have said some of the sales were needed to avoid potential conflicts between Mr. Kushner’s far-reaching job duties and his personal financial interests.

    Mr. Kushner is retaining more than 200 other assets, worth a total of at least $116 million, according to his disclosures. These are mostly apartments and office blocks around the U.S. Like his father-in-law, he has declined to put these assets in a blind trust, which ethics experts regard as the cleanest way to avoid conflicts of interest. Someone close to Mr. Kushner said there are practical problems that made a blind trust not a realistic option.

    Mr. Kushner co-founded Cadre in 2014 with his brother, Joshua Kushner, and Ryan Williams, a 29-year-old friend and former employee of Kushner Cos., the family-controlled business that Mr. Kushner ran until recently. Cadre markets properties to prospective investors, who can put their money into specific buildings or into an investment fund run by Cadre, which collects fees on each deal.

    To get off the ground, Cadre turned to a Goldman Sachs fund and a number of high-profile investors. Among them were the venture-capital firms of Mr. Thiel, Silicon Valley’s most prominent supporter of the GOP president, and Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems Inc., according to Cadre’s website. Personal backers include Chinese entrepreneur David Yu, co-founder with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma of a Shanghai-based private-equity firm, hedge-fund manager Daniel Och and real-estate magnate Barry Sternlicht, people close to Cadre said.

    Cadre also secured a $250 million line of credit from the family office of Mr. Soros, a top Democratic donor who Mr. Trump criticized during his presidential campaign, the people close to the company said. Mr. Soros’s family office is also an investor in Cadre.

    The investors declined or didn’t respond to requests to comment on their backing of Cadre, but a person familiar with Mr. Soros’s family office said it had invested in early 2015 before Mr. Trump declared his presidential candidacy.

    Cadre has solicited money from investors for several Kushner Cos. real-estate projects, according to information sent to prospective investors and reviewed by the Journal. Jared Kushner personally has stakes in some of the real-estate projects for which Cadre has raised money, according to Cadre documents and his disclosure form.

    While Mr. Williams acts as the public face of Cadre, Mr. Kushner remains one of the owners, with the power to “influence the [firm’s] management or policies,” according to the latest public information on file with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Mr. Kushner’s company JCK Cadre LLC is shown as owning 25% to 50% of Quadro Partners Inc., which owns at least 75% of RealCadre LLC, which does business as Cadre. Mr. Kushner has reduced his ownership stake to less than 25%, his lawyer Ms. Gorelick said.

    Mr. Williams, chief executive of Cadre, said the company has been working with regulators to update its public filings to “reflect Jared’s nonoperational, nonmanagement relationship with the company, which has been in place since the inauguration.”

    BFPS Ventures, the company that Mr. Kushner’s lawyer said holds his Cadre stake, is shown on his financial-disclosure form as owning unspecified New York real estate valued at more than $50 million. The form adds that “the conflicting assets of this interest have been divested.”

    Beyond Cadre, some of the assets Mr. Kushner is holding on to are hard to pinpoint, partly because they are housed in entities with generic names such as “KC Dumbo Office,” according to the disclosure form.

    The Journal matched many of the assets to specific real-estate investments. An analysis of the debts on those properties, using real-estate data services PropertyShark and Trepp LLC as well as property records, found ties to a broad swath of U.S. and foreign banks, private-equity firms, real-estate companies and government-owned lenders.

    Lenders to Mr. Kushner, either directly or via properties he co-owns, include Bank of America Corp. , Blackstone Group LP, Citigroup Inc., UBS Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC. Royal Bank of Scotland didn’t respond to requests for comment; representatives of the other firms declined to comment.

    Mr. Kushner will recuse himself from matters to which Deutsche Bank or RBS are parties because he has provided personal guarantees on their loans, said a person familiar with his ethics arrangement.

    “Cadre also secured a $250 million line of credit from the family office of Mr. Soros, a top Democratic donor who Mr. Trump criticized during his presidential campaign, the people close to the company said. Mr. Soros’s family office is also an investor in Cadre.”

    Yowza. You can see why Kushner would have preferred to not disclose this relationship. And note how the conflicts of interest from Cadre are one of many Kushner (and therefore Trump) maintains. There’s also, for instance, the conflict of interest that comes from at least $1 billion in loans to properties and companies part-owned by Kushner, $300 million of which Kushner has personally guaranteed:


    The Cadre stake is one of many interests—and ties to large financial institutions—that Mr. Kushner didn’t identify on his government financial-disclosure form, according to a Wall Street Journal review of securities and other filings. Others include loans totaling at least $1 billion, from more than 20 lenders, to properties and companies part-owned by Mr. Kushner, the Journal found. He has also provided personal guarantees on more than $300 million of the debt, according to the analysis.

    Mr. Kushner, the 36-year-old scion of a real-estate family, agreed with federal ethics officials to divest himself of more than 80 assets after he and his wife, Ivanka Trump, were hired by her father, President Donald Trump, as senior aides. White House officials have said some of the sales were needed to avoid potential conflicts between Mr. Kushner’s far-reaching job duties and his personal financial interests.

    Mr. Kushner is retaining more than 200 other assets, worth a total of at least $116 million, according to his disclosures. These are mostly apartments and office blocks around the U.S. Like his father-in-law, he has declined to put these assets in a blind trust, which ethics experts regard as the cleanest way to avoid conflicts of interest. Someone close to Mr. Kushner said there are practical problems that made a blind trust not a realistic option.

    Lenders to Mr. Kushner, either directly or via properties he co-owns, include Bank of America Corp. , Blackstone Group LP, Citigroup Inc., UBS Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC. Royal Bank of Scotland didn’t respond to requests for comment; representatives of the other firms declined to comment.

    Mr. Kushner will recuse himself from matters to which Deutsche Bank or RBS are parties because he has provided personal guarantees on their loans, said a person familiar with his ethics arrangement.

    “Mr. Kushner will recuse himself from matters to which Deutsche Bank or RBS are parties because he has provided personal guarantees on their loans, said a person familiar with his ethics arrangement.”

    Yep, Jared Kushner, the guy who Trump has assigned to do ALMOST EVERYTHING (which is sadly not an exaggeration), just might have more conflicts of interest than Trump. Ok, probably not more than Trump himself since Trump has spent a lifetime developing conflicts of interest, although when you consider how close Trump is to Kushner it’s hard to way where Trump’s conflicts of interest end and Kushner’s begin.

    And while the business relationship with George Soros certainly isn’t going to help tamp down on all the ‘Alt-Right’ fears that Trump’s White House is getting ‘cucked’ by a bunch of Wall Street Jews, perhaps the most notable characteristic of Trump’s and Kushner’s conflicts of interest is just how widespread and non-homogeneous they are. At this point one of the big questions about Trump shouldn’t be who’s pocket is he in? The question should be who’s pocket isn’t he in?

    And perhaps that’s going to be the Trump clan’s final defense against corruption charges: they have so many different conflicts of interest their conflicts of interest are conflicted. The Trump’s can’t help one group of private interest they either have business ties to or loans from without pissing off another private interest they have business ties to or loans from. Of course, there are plenty of things that could please all of Trump’s conflicted interests: tax cuts for the super-rich, gutting regulations, and just generally acting at the behest of his fellow global billionaire class (i.e. the Trump/GOP agenda). But from a public relations perspective you have to wonder if we’ll ever see the Trump clan try to push a “we have so conflicts of interest that the conflicts cancel out” argument. Or maybe they’ll just stick with the “the president can’t have a conflict of interest” argument and try to extend it to Jared.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 3, 2017, 3:15 pm

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