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FTR #920 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 3: The Underground Reich Emerges Into Plain View

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [6].

MeinKampf [7]thinkbignkickass [8]Intro­duc­tion: For many yearswhat Mr. Emory terms “The Under­ground Reich” has been a fun­da­men­tal point of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis in these broad­casts and posts. In the third pro­gram ana­lyz­ing the Don­ald Trump cam­paign, we exam­ine the “Trumpenkampfver­bande,” its polit­i­cal antecedents and adher­ents.

Exem­pli­fy­ing, and net­work­ing with, gen­er­a­tions of fas­cists and fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions, the Trumpenkampfver­bande embod­ies the emer­gence of the Under­ground Reich into plain view.

In FTR #‘s 918 [9] and 919 [10], we exam­ined Trump’s pro­nounce­ments about Rus­sia, NATO and Ukraine in the con­text of tra­di­tion­al Ger­man “Ost­poli­tik.” Far from being the “dupe/agent/stooge” of “Putin/Russia/the Krem­lin” that our (to a large extent will­ful­ly) igno­rant media and polit­i­cal estab­lish­ments label Trump, he appears to be a sig­nal ele­ment, herald­ing a “bid­ding war” between East and West that will yield tremen­dous ben­e­fits for a Ger­many that has real­ized its long-stand­ing goal of a uni­fied Europe and is now build­ing a new, EU-wide mil­i­tary struc­ture [11] that threat­ens to replace NATO.

Fur­ther­more, secur­ing a “win­ning bid” from Rus­sia may yield a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed trade orga­ni­za­tion “stretch­ing from Lis­bon to Vladi­vos­tok.” [12]

In this regard, we feel that Trump is func­tion­ing in a man­ner anal­o­gous to the “Open Let­ter to Stal­in” [13] pub­lished in the Buerg­er Zeitung.

A sig­na­ture ele­ment of Trump’s cam­paign is his resus­ci­ta­tion of the “Amer­i­ca First” [14] slo­gan and con­cept, a man­i­fes­ta­tion both of his thin­ly-veiled appeal to Nazi and white suprema­cist ele­ments and his will­ing­ness to cede dom­i­nance over world affairs to a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed “third pow­er bloc.”

Just as Amer­i­ca First–in its 1930s man­i­fes­ta­tion [15]–favored keep­ing Amer­i­ca from becom­ing involved in Europe, there­by giv­ing Ger­many an unchal­lenged posi­tion in its hege­mon­ic designs, so, too, Trump’s pro­nounce­ments about NATO her­ald iso­la­tion­ist posi­tion for the U.S. that will ben­e­fit the EU/Germany.

In addi­tion, the Amer­i­ca First con­cept mobi­lizes pow­er­ful feel­ings [16] among those feel­ing over­whelmed and left behind [17] by polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ments glob­al­ly and in the Unit­ed States.

The “orig­i­nal” Amer­i­ca First was financed [18] by Nazi Ger­many.

On the sub­ject of Amer­i­ca First:

After review­ing [19] some of Trump’s asso­ci­a­tions with fas­cists and Nazis, past and present, the pro­gram turns to the sub­ject of Joseph E. Schmitz [20], one of Trump’s advis­ers on for­eign and nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy.

“Obsessed with all things Ger­man . . . . and Von Steuben,” Schmitz’s Ger­manophil­ia and “Von Steubenophil­ia” (to coin a term) appears to beto­ken [21] a Nazi-style polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion.

” . . . . Daniel Mey­er, a senior offi­cial with­in the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, described Schmitz’s remarks in his com­plaint file. ‘His sum­ma­ry of his tenure’s achieve­ment report­ed as ‘…I fired the Jews,’ ’ wrote Mey­er, a for­mer offi­cial in the Pen­ta­gon inspec­tor general’s office whose griev­ance was obtained by McClatchy. . . . In his com­plaint, Mey­er said [John] Crane also said Schmitz played down the extent of the Holo­caust. . . . In his final days, he alleged­ly lec­tured Mr. Crane on the details of con­cen­tra­tion camps and how the ovens were too small to kill 6 mil­lion Jews,” wrote Mey­er, whose com­plaint is before the Mer­it Sys­tems Pro­tec­tion Board (MSPB). . . .”

Sig­nal­ing the pro­found Trump cam­paign affil­i­a­tion with Nazis and white suprema­cists, the pro­gram high­lights the appoint­ment of Bre­it­bart chief Steve Ban­non [22] to run Trump’s cam­paign. Ban­non has “main­streamed” Nazis and “white nation­al­ists.”

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump [23]

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

Fur­ther devel­op­ing Trump’s links with what media have termed “the alt right.” we note the Trump’s tweet­ing [24] of a cam­paign ad fea­tur­ing Waf­fen-SS-clad [25] World War II re-enac­tors. Tweet­ing fas­cist images and con­cepts is some­thing Trump does with great fre­quen­cy.

After tweet­ing an anti-Semit­ic por­tray­al of Hillary Clin­ton [26] beside a Star of David, Trump attempt­ed to deflect crit­i­cism by claim­ing it was a “sher­if­f’s star.” The tweet orig­i­nat­ed [27] on an “alt right” mes­sag­ing board, and its sub­stance was endorsed by David Duke [28].

Although not dis­cussed in the audio record­ing, we note in this descrip­tion that Trump kept a col­lec­tion [29] of Hitler’s speech­es by his bed.

In pol­i­tics, it is an axiom that one should “fol­low the mon­ey.” Sup­ple­ment­ing dis­cus­sion from FTR #919 [10], in which we ana­lyzed a New York Times [30] arti­cle high­light­ing Don­ald Trump’s alto­geth­er opaque real estate devel­op­ments and evi­dence that those projects had sig­nif­i­cant links to ele­ments of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work, we set forth the pri­ma­ry role of Deutsche Bank [31] in financ­ing Trump’s real estate projects [32]. ” . . . 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 [33] and an almost 50% stock-price decline, the finan­cial insti­tu­tion with prob­a­bly the strongest ties to the con­tro­ver­sial New York busi­ness­man. . . .”

The fact that Deutsche Bank is the pri­ma­ry finan­cial backer of “Trump Incor­po­rat­ed” is of pri­ma­ry impor­tance. The bank is cen­tral to the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

“. . . . 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. . . .”

Trump’s deep indebt­ed­ness to Deutsche Bank has been sup­ple­ment­ed by finan­cial sup­port [34] from George Soros. As we have not­ed in the past, Soros got his start in busi­ness “Aryaniz­ing” [35] Jew­ish prop­er­ty in Hun­gary dur­ing World War II. In the past, we have not­ed that Soros may well be a “Bor­mann Jew.” [36]

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

IlDuceIlDouche [40]1a. A sig­na­ture ele­ment of Trump’s cam­paign is his “Amer­i­ca First” ral­ly­ing slo­gan, which harkens back direct­ly to the “Amer­i­ca First” of the pre-World War II peri­od.

“Don­ald Trump and Allies Forced to Answer Ques­tions about Anti-Semi­tism” by Alan Yuhas; The Guardian; 7/25/2016. [14]

. . . . The busi­ness­man has also adopt­ed the ral­ly­ing cry “Amer­i­ca First”, which became famous as a slo­gan of the famous avi­a­tor Charles Lind­bergh and iso­la­tion­ists in the 1930s and ear­ly 1940s. Lind­bergh, who was wel­comed in Nazi Ger­many sev­er­al times before the sec­ond world war, wrote about “racial strength” and said civ­i­liza­tion depend­ed “on a west­ern wall of race and arms which can hold back either a Genghis Khan or the infil­tra­tion of infe­ri­or blood”. . . .

1b. More about Amer­i­ca First, not­ing the ide­o­log­i­cal and rhetor­i­cal res­o­nance between the pro-Nazi group of the pre-Word War II peri­od and the Trumpenkampfver­bande.

“Putting Amer­i­ca First” by Josh Mar­shall; Talk­ing Points Memo; 4/30/2016. [15]

 . . . . It is no acci­dent that “Amer­i­ca First’s” actu­al his­tor­i­cal prog­en­i­tor is a 30s-era Nativist, anti-Semit­ic qua­si-iso­la­tion­ism which was effec­tive­ly allied with Nazi Ger­many. The real mean­ing of ‘Amer­i­ca First’ has always been that Amer­i­ca is being tak­en advan­tage of, being exploit­ed and exposed. . . .

1c. In his land­mark text Under Cov­er, John Roy Carl­son high­light­ed the rhetor­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal res­o­nance between Amer­i­ca First and oth­er fas­cist move­ments of the time.

Under Cover–My Four Years in the Nazi Under­world in Amer­i­ca by John Roy Carl­son; E.P. Dut­ton [HC]; 1943; pp. 113–114, 498–499 . [16]

. . . . In the mean­while, the Bund had so antag­o­nized most Amer­i­cans by its swasti­ka-heil­ing phase that orders came from Berlin to cut out pub­lic singing of the Horst Wes­sel Lied, shelve the Sam Browne belts and march­ing boots and ‘go Amer­i­can.’ The par­ty line changed, as a buck­et of red-white-and-blue paint was applied to make overnight ‘patri­ots’ of the Nazis. The Deutsch­er Weck­ruf became The Free Amer­i­can. And no longer pro­fess­ing to con­vert the Unit­ed States to Nation­al-Social­ism, the Bund became nation­al­ist and iso­la­tion­ist, showed great con­cern for the wel­fare of the Repub­lic and adopt­ed the slo­gan: Amer­i­ca First. . . .

. . . Mussolini’s fas­cist sys­tem was first described as ‘nation­al­ist.’ The French fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion Croix de Feu, which devel­oped into a Vichy instru­ment was called ‘nation­al­ist.’ The Nazi par­ty is the Nation­al-Social­ist Par­ty. The Japan­ese War Par­ty is a ‘nation­al­ist’ par­ty. All these coun­tries had their ‘Ger­many First,’ ‘France First’ and ‘Spain First’ par­ties. Recall that the mot­to of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Black­shirts was ‘Britain First’ and Stahrenberg’s slo­gan of the Amer­i­can Nation­al-Social­ist Par­ty was ‘Amer­i­ca First, Last and Always.’ ‘Amer­i­ca First’ can be no dif­fer­ent in its con­no­ta­tion and ulti­mate out­come despite the sin­cere intents of some of those who mouth it. ‘Amer­i­ca First’ is a cry unwit­ting­ly used by Liberty’s hang­men.” . . .

1d. Baron Ulrich von Gien­anth, the Gestapo chief of the Ger­man embassy in Wash­ing­ton and a mem­ber of the SS, laun­dered funds to under­write the activ­i­ties of Amer­i­ca First.

The Fam­i­ly by Jeff Sharlet; Harp­er Peren­ni­al (SC); Copy­right 2008 by Jeff Sharlet; ISBN 978–0‑06–056005‑8; pp. 147–148 [18]

. . . . Only sec­ond sec­re­tary in the embassy, von Gien­anth main­tained a fright­en­ing grip over his fel­low diplo­mats. He was an under­cov­er SS man, the ears and eyes of the “Reichsmin­istry of Prop­er Enlight­en­ment and Pro­pa­gan­da,” charged with keep­ing watch over its secret Amer­i­can oper­a­tions. He was, in short, the Gestapo chief in Amer­i­ca. While Zapp wor­ried about his legal prospects in the Indi­an Sum­mer of 1940, von Gien­anth was like­ly wait­ing for news of a major oper­a­tion in New Jer­sey: the det­o­na­tion of the Her­cules gun­pow­der plant, an explo­sion that on Sep­tem­ber 12 killed forty-sev­en and sent shock­waves so strong that they snapped wind into the sails of boaters in far-off Long Island Sound. . . .

. . . . Von Gien­an­th’s ini­tia­tives were whim­si­cal by com­par­i­son. Once for instance, he paid a pilot to dump pro-Nazi anti­war fliers on the White House lawn. He devot­ed him­self to chang­ing Goebbels’ gold into dol­lars, and those dol­lars into laun­dered “dona­tions” to the Amer­i­ca First Com­mit­tee, where unwit­ting isolationists–Abram allies such as Sen­a­tor Arthur Van­den­berg and Amer­i­ca First Pres­i­dent Robert M. Hanes among them–stumped for recog­ni­tion of the “fact” on Hitler’s inevitabil­i­ty. . . .

1e. In a tran­si­tion ele­ment from the first two shows about Don­ald Trump, we note that one of his top advis­ers on for­eign affairs–Joseph E. Schmitz–has been accused of anti-Semi­tism and Holo­caust denial. This is the same Schmitz who was “obsessed” with “all things Ger­man” and “all things Von Steuben.”

“Trump Advis­er Accused of Mak­ing Anti-Semit­ic Remarks” by Marisa Tay­lor and William Dou­glas; McClatchy News Bureau; 8/18/2016. [21]

Alle­ga­tions of anti-Semi­tism have sur­faced against one of Don­ald Trump’s for­eign pol­i­cy advis­ers, rais­ing fur­ther ques­tions about the guid­ance the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee is receiv­ing.

Joseph Schmitz, named as one of five advis­ers by the Trump cam­paign in March, is accused of brag­ging when he was Defense Depart­ment inspec­tor gen­er­al a decade ago that he pushed out Jew­ish employ­ees.The rev­e­la­tions feed two themes that his oppo­nent Hillary Clin­ton has used to erode Trump’s cred­i­bil­i­ty: That he is a for­eign pol­i­cy neo­phyte, and that his cam­paign, at times, has offend­ed Jews and oth­er minori­ties.

Schmitz, who is a lawyer in pri­vate prac­tice in Wash­ing­ton, says the alle­ga­tions against him are lies. All three peo­ple who have cit­ed the remarks, includ­ing one who tes­ti­fied under oath about them, have pend­ing employ­ment griev­ances with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.

Daniel Mey­er, a senior offi­cial with­in the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, described Schmitz’s remarks in his com­plaint file.

“His sum­ma­ry of his tenure’s achieve­ment report­ed as ‘…I fired the Jews,’ ” wrote Mey­er, a for­mer offi­cial in the Pen­ta­gon inspec­tor general’s office whose griev­ance was obtained by McClatchy.

Mey­er, who declined to com­ment about the mat­ter, cit­ed in his com­plaint anoth­er for­mer top Pen­ta­gon offi­cial, John Crane, as the source and wit­ness to the remarks. Crane worked with Schmitz, who served as inspec­tor gen­er­al between April 2002 and Sep­tem­ber 2005.

In his com­plaint, Mey­er said Crane also said Schmitz played down the extent of the Holo­caust.

“In his final days, he alleged­ly lec­tured Mr. Crane on the details of con­cen­tra­tion camps and how the ovens were too small to kill 6 mil­lion Jews,” wrote Mey­er, whose com­plaint is before the Mer­it Sys­tems Pro­tec­tion Board (MSPB). . . .

. . . . Though Schmitz left the gov­ern­ment in 2005, he has insert­ed him­self in pub­lic affairs often through writ­ing edi­to­ri­als and giv­ing speech­es.

Schmitz spoke to law stu­dents in March 2015 at South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­si­ty in Dal­las in a forum about com­mu­nism and its impact on soci­ety.

Ren­wei Chung, a stu­dent who took notes of Schmitz’s speech, said it appeared to him that Schmitz was call­ing Oba­ma a com­mu­nist. He described how Schmitz held up the book: “The Com­mu­nist: Frank Mar­shall Davis – The Untold Sto­ry of Barack Obama’s Men­tor” and said to the forum, “The Chi­nese wor­ship Mao. They have pic­tures of Mao every­where. Do you know who the sec­ond most pop­u­lar per­son in Chi­na is? Oba­ma. … Why is that?”

Jef­frey Kahn, a pro­fes­sor who also spoke at the forum, said the encounter with Schmitz left him “chilled.”

Kahn wrote in an opin­ion piece pub­lished in July in the Dal­las Morn­ing News that “I had wit­nessed a ghost from McCarthy’s staff,” a ref­er­ence to for­mer Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who was obsessed with expos­ing com­mu­nists in the 1950s.

“What for­eign pol­i­cy advice will Schmitz whis­per into Trump’s ear?” Kahn wrote. “I shud­der to think what he might do in such a posi­tion of pow­er.”

1f. In our dis­cus­sions with Peter Lev­en­da, we not­ed that an ele­ment com­mon to fas­cism of var­i­ous kinds is a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with, and desire to return to, a myth­i­cal, ide­al­ized past.

The Hitler Lega­cy by Peter Lev­en­da; IBIS Press [HC]; Copy­right 2014 by Peter Lev­en­da; ISBN 978–0‑89254–210‑9; pp. 85–89. [17]

. . . . Both the Amer­i­can Nazi and the Klan move­ments want­ed Amer­i­ca to go back to the way it was before the Great Depres­sion, before the First World War, to a time that nev­er real­ly exist­ed the way they thought it did: a time before the advent of Com­mu­nist states like the Sovi­et Union; a time before blacks and Jews could be con­sid­ered equal cit­i­zens of the nation. Like many of today’s extreme right pro­tes­tors, the Nazis and Klans­men of the 1920s and 1930s want­ed to “take their coun­try back,” in this case–and pos­si­bly in the present case also–“back” meant “back in time.” . . . .

. . . . This focus on puri­ty could be seen as a desire to return to a more prim­i­tive time–in illo tempore–when the world was pris­tine. That this time prob­a­bly nev­er exist­ed did not occur (or was not accept­able) to those pro­mot­ing this “return to nature” and “return to our roots” phi­los­o­phy. Leg­ends of ancient Greece and Rome were con­flat­ed with leg­ends con­cern­ing Atlantis and Thule: the lat­ter the pre­sumed ancient home­land of the Aryans. With the com­ing of West­ern civilization–according to this theory–much of human­i­ty’s basic good­ness and inher­ent phys­i­cal and psy­chic pow­ers were lost, a kind of Sam­son and Delilah moment when the vir­ile and pure Sam­son is shorn of his hair and thus los­es his poten­cy and strength to the Lev­an­tine, Semit­ic seduc­tress. . . . It is also an implic­it acknowl­edg­ment of fail­ure. This yearn­ing for a return to some oth­er state in the dis­tant past indi­cates an inca­pa­bil­i­ty of deal­ing with present-day issues in any oth­er way. It rep­re­sents a desire to wipe the slate clean and start over, which may be attrac­tive as a fan­ta­sy but not prac­ti­ca­ble in life. . . .

2. GOP front-run­ner Don­ald Trump has gar­nered much atten­tion for his pro­nounce­ments in the racist/xenophobic vein. We note his close asso­ci­a­tion with Nor­man Vin­cent Peale and for­mer Joe McCarthy aide Roy Cohn. In AFA #2 [41], we not­ed that promi­nent Ger­man-Amer­i­cans such as Hitler sym­pa­thiz­er Wal­ter Har­nischfager backed McCarthy. Trump’s polit­i­cal her­itage stretch­es back to the Nazi fifth col­umn in this coun­try.

“The USFL’s Trump Card” by Robert Boyle; Sports Illus­trat­ed; 2/13/2015. [38]

. . . . As might be expect­ed, the Trumps trav­el in rar­efied cir­cles. Dr. Nor­man Vin­cent Peale is their pas­tor, Roy Cohn their attor­ney. “Don­ald Trump is an extra­or­di­nary young man,” says Peale. “He has the ele­ments of genius.” Cohn says Trump is “one of the most enter­pris­ing, inge­nious busi­ness­men on the Amer­i­can scene...a mir­a­cle man who can’t seem to make a mis­take even if he tries.” . . . .

3. Trump is close to Helene Von Damm, the Otto von Bolschwing pro­tege who select­ed the per­son­nel for Ronald Rea­gan’s cab­i­net. Von Damm became Rea­gan’s Ambas­sador to Aus­tria. It would not be unrea­son­able to ask if Trump’s busi­ness deal­ings are involved with the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

“Helene Von Damm’s Vien­nese Waltz” by William Drodzi­ak; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 3/5/1985. [39]

. . . . She would like to divide her time between Vien­na and New York, where her cam­paign days reaped sev­er­al close friend­ships in big busi­ness cir­cles, notably with con­struc­tion mag­nate Don­ald Trump. . . .

4. Among the Chris­t­ian prelates oper­at­ing on behalf of the Nazi cause was The Rev­erend Nor­man Vin­cent Peale. Best known as the expo­nent of “the pow­er of pos­i­tive think­ing,” Peale long graced the pages of pub­li­ca­tions like Reader’s Digest and his name became syn­ony­mous with whole­some, main­stream Amer­i­cana in the post­war years. Pri­or to and dur­ing the war, how­ev­er, Peale front­ed for Edward A. Rume­ly, a spy and agi­ta­tor for Ger­many dur­ing both World Wars. Like so many oth­ers, Rume­ly, too, ben­e­fit­ed from his asso­ci­a­tion with Hitler bene­fac­tor Hen­ry Ford. Note that anoth­er of Rumely’s fel­low trav­el­ers in the Fifth Col­umn move­ment was Frank Gan­nett, founder of the news­pa­per chain that bears his name.

Under Cover–My Four Years in the Nazi Under­world in Amer­i­ca by John Roy Carl­son; E.P. Dut­ton [HC]; 1943; pp. 474–475. [16]

. . . . Rume­ly is boss of the Com­mit­tee for Con­sti­tu­tion­al Gov­ern­ment and sec­ond in com­mand to Frank E. Gan­nett, pub­lish­er of a string of news­pa­pers and founder of the com­mit­tee in 1937. As soon as the Sen­a­to­r­i­al inves­ti­ga­tion was over, Rume­ly lit­er­al­ly went under­ground and erased his name from the Com­mit­tee sta­tionery. But he con­tin­ued to run it by appoint­ing a docile Protes­tant cler­gy­man as ‘act­ing chair­man and sec­re­tary’ who vis­it­ed the office only occa­sion­al­ly. He was the Rev­erend Nor­man Vin­cent Peale, once a joint speak­er with [Amer­i­can fas­cist] Mrs. Eliz­a­beth Dilling and the Rev­erend Edward Lodge Cur­ran [key aide to Father Cough­lin] at a ‘pro-Amer­i­can mass meet­ing spon­sored by more than 50 patri­ot­ic orga­ni­za­tions’ at the Hotel Com­modore in New York. . . . Rumely’s friend­ship with Hen­ry Ford dat­ed pri­or to the sum­mer of 1918 when Ford rushed to Wash­ing­ton in an unsuc­cess­ful attempt to save Rume­ly from being indict­ed. . . .

5. Review­ing part of the polit­i­cal his­to­ry of McCarthy­ism, we detail “The Pond”–an intel­li­gence net­work run by John “Frenchy” Grom­bach. A por­tion of the his­tor­i­cal depth to the devel­op­ment of Amer­i­can fas­cism is con­tained in this analy­sis. The New York Times–predictably–does not dis­cuss dynam­ics like this.

SS gen­er­al Karl Wolff began feed­ing infor­ma­tion to “Frenchy” Grom­bach, a for­mer mil­i­tary intel­li­gence agent who formed a net­work of oper­a­tives who fed infor­ma­tion to the CIA, among oth­ers. As indi­cat­ed here, one of Grombach’s major sources in his efforts was Wolff.

Blow­back by Christo­pher Simp­son; Col­lier [Macmil­lan] {SC}; Copy­right 1988 by Christo­pher Simp­son; ISBN 0–02-044995‑X; p. 236. [42]

. . . One of Grom­bach’s most impor­tant assets, accord­ing to U.S. naval intel­li­gence records obtained under the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act, was SS Gen­er­al Karl Wolff, a major war crim­i­nal who had gone into the arms trade in Europe after the war. . . . Grom­bach worked simul­ta­ne­ous­ly under con­tract to the Depart­ment of State and the CIA. The ex-mil­i­tary intel­li­gence man suc­ceed­ed in cre­at­ing ‘one of the most unusu­al orga­ni­za­tions in the his­to­ry of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment,’ accord­ing to CIA Inspec­tor Gen­er­al Lyman Kirk­patrick. ‘It was devel­oped com­plete­ly out­side of the nor­mal gov­ern­men­tal struc­ture, [but it] used all of the nor­mal cov­er and com­mu­ni­ca­tions facil­i­ties nor­mal­ly oper­at­ed by intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tions, and yet nev­er was under any con­trol from Wash­ing­ton.’ By the ear­ly 1950s the U.S. gov­ern­ment was bankrolling Grom­bach’s under­ground activ­i­ties at more than $1 mil­lion annu­al­ly, Kirk­patrick has said. . . .

6. Among the pri­ma­ry recip­i­ents of Grombach’s and Wolff’s infor­ma­tion was Sen­a­tor Joseph McCarthy, who uti­lized dirt giv­en him by the net­work to smear his oppo­nents.

Blow­back by Christo­pher Simp­son; Col­lier [Macmil­lan] {SC}; Copy­right 1988 by Christo­pher Simp­son; ISBN 0–02-044995‑X; p. 236. [42]

. . . Grom­bach banked on his close con­nec­tions with Sen­a­tors Joseph McCarthy, William Jen­ner, and oth­er mem­bers of the extreme Repub­li­can right to pro­pel him to nation­al pow­er. . . .Grom­bach’s out­fit effec­tive­ly became the for­eign espi­onage agency for the far right, often serv­ing as the over­seas com­ple­ment to McCarthy’s gen­er­al­ly warm rela­tions with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI at home . . . . U.S. gov­ern­ment con­tracts bankrolling a net­work of for­mer Nazis and col­lab­o­ra­tors gave him much of the ammu­ni­tion he need­ed to do the job. Grom­bach used his net­works pri­mar­i­ly to gath­er dirt. This was the Amer­i­can agen­t’s spe­cial­ty, his true pas­sion: polit­i­cal dirt, sex­u­al dirt, any kind of com­pro­mis­ing infor­ma­tion at all. ‘He got into a lot of garbage pails,’ as Kirk­patrick puts it, ‘and issued ‘dirty linen’ ‘reports on Amer­i­cans. ‘Grom­bach col­lect­ed scan­dal, cat­a­loged it, and used it care­ful­ly, just as he had done dur­ing the ear­li­er McCor­ma­ck inves­ti­ga­tion. He leaked smears to his polit­i­cal allies in Con­gress and the press when it suit­ed his pur­pos­es to do so. Grom­bach and con­gres­sion­al ‘inter­nal secu­ri­ty’ inves­ti­ga­tors bartered these dossiers with one anoth­er almost as though they were boys trad­ing base­ball cards. . . .

7. Trump has a new cam­paign chief exec­u­tive: Bre­it­bart chief Steve Ban­non, patron media saint of the Alt-Right!

“Alt Right Rejoic­es at Don­ald Trump’s Steve Ban­non Hire” by Best­sy Woodruff and Gideon Resnick; The Dai­ly Beast; 8/17/2016. [22]

As Breitbart’s chief, Steve Ban­non did a lot to nor­mal­ize the racist, anti-Semit­ic world of the alt right. Now they rejoice as he joins the cam­paign of their king.

Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign [43] is under new man­age­ment—and his white nation­al­ist fan­boys love it [44].

The campaign’s new chief exec­u­tive, Stephen Ban­non, joins from Bre­it­bart News [44]—where he helped main­stream the ideas of white nation­al­ists and resus­ci­tate the rep­u­ta­tions of anti-immi­grant fear-mon­gers.

White nation­al­ists today invest a lot of ener­gy wor­ry­ing about grow­ing His­pan­ic and Mus­lim pop­u­la­tions in the U.S. Turns out, Bre­it­bart News spends a lot of time wor­ry­ing about those things, too. And in Ban­non, they see a media-friend­ly, eth­no-nation­al­ist fel­low trav­el­er.

“Lat­ter­ly, Bre­it­bart emerged as a nation­al­ist site and done great stuff on immi­gra­tion in par­tic­u­lar,” VDARE.com edi­tor Peter Brimelow told The Dai­ly Beast.

VDare is a white suprema­cist site. It’s named after Vir­ginia Dare, the first white child born to British colonists in North Amer­i­ca. Brimelow said he and Ban­non met briefly last month and exchanged pleas­antries about each other’s work.

“It’s irri­tat­ing because VDARE.com is not used to com­pe­ti­tion,” Brimelow added. “I pre­sume that is due to Ban­non, so his appoint­ment is great news.”

Brimelow isn’t the only promi­nent white nation­al­ist to praise the Ban­non hire. Richard Spencer, who heads the white suprema­cist think tank Nation­al Pol­i­cy Insti­tute, said he was also pleased. Under Bannon’s lead­er­ship, Bre­it­bart has giv­en favor­able cov­er­age to the white suprema­cist Alt Right move­ment. And Spencer loves it.

“Bre­it­bart has elec­tive affini­ties with the Alt Right, and the Alt Right has clear­ly influ­enced Bre­it­bart,” he said. “In this way, Bre­it­bart has act­ed as a ‘gate­way’ to Alt Right ideas and writ­ers. I don’t think it has done this delib­er­ate­ly; again, it’s a mat­ter of elec­tive affini­ties.”

Spencer said Bre­it­bart and Ban­non have helped Alt Right ideas gain legitimacy—and, more impor­tant­ly, expo­nen­tial­ly expand their audi­ences. He cit­ed the work of Milo Yiannopou­los as evi­dence of this.

“As is evi­dent with Milo’s piece on the Alt Right, Bre­it­bart has peo­ple on board who take us seri­ous­ly, even if they are not Alt Right them­selves.”

Yiannopou­los wrote a piece on March 29, 2016, about the Alt Right, prais­ing its mem­bers as “dan­ger­ous­ly bright,” and cheer­ing the VDARE and Amer­i­can Renais­sance sites as an “eclec­tic mix of rene­gades.” Amer­i­can Renais­sance is helmed by Jared Tay­lor, who advo­cates for vol­un­tary racial seg­re­ga­tion and says African Amer­i­cans are genet­i­cal­ly pre­dis­posed to be crim­i­nals.

Yiannopou­los defend­ed Brimelow and Tay­lor by say­ing they “don’t want to com­mit any pogroms,” which is… not a very com­fort­ing sen­ti­ment.

Reached for com­ment, Yiannopou­los referred The Dai­ly Beast to Bre­it­bart edi­tor-in-chief Alexan­der Mar­low. He has not returned a request for com­ment.

The Clin­ton cam­paign imme­di­ate­ly pounced on the announce­ment in a con­fer­ence call on Wednes­day after­noon, not­ing Bannon’s Alt Right ties. “After sev­er­al failed attempts to piv­ot into a more seri­ous and pres­i­den­tial mode, Don­ald Trump has decid­ed to dou­ble down on his most small, nasty and divi­sive instincts by turn­ing his cam­paign over to some­one who’s best known for run­ning a so-called news site that ped­dles divi­sive, at times racist, anti-Mus­lim, anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries,” Clin­ton cam­paign man­ag­er Rob­by Mook told reporters.

The Clin­ton cam­paign did not respond to a fol­low-up email ask­ing if they will con­tin­ue to pro­vide press cre­den­tials to Bre­it­bart reporters.

Ban­non didn’t just make Bre­it­bart a safe space for white suprema­cists; he’s also wel­comed a schol­ar black­list­ed from the main­stream con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment for argu­ing there’s a con­nec­tion between race and IQ. Bre­it­bart fre­quent­ly high­lights the work of Jason Rich­wine, resigned from the con­ser­v­a­tive Her­itage Foun­da­tion when news broke that his Har­vard dis­ser­ta­tion argued in part that His­pan­ics have low­er IQs than non-His­pan­ic whites.

Ban­non loves Rich­wine. On Jan. 6 of this year [45], when Rich­wine was a guest on the radio show, Ban­non called him “one of the smartest brains out there in demo­graph­ics, demog­ra­phy, this whole issue of immi­gra­tion, what it means to this coun­try.”

One for­mer Bre­it­bart work­er puts it a lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly. Kurt Bardel­la, who had the site as a client until quit­ting this year, said Ban­non reg­u­lar­ly made racist com­ments dur­ing inter­nal meet­ings.

“I woke up and the world came to an end,” he told The Dai­ly Beast. “They have put in place some­one who is a dictator-bully—a fig­ure whose form of man­age­ment is ver­bal abuse and intim­i­da­tion.

“He made more off-col­or com­ments about minori­ties and homo­sex­u­als than I can recount,” he added.

Bardel­la, who lives in Vir­ginia and was for­mer­ly a Repub­li­can Hill staffer, said this Novem­ber, for the first time in his life, he will vote for a Demo­c­rat: Hillary Clin­ton. . . .

8. Ear­li­er this year, a con­tro­ver­sy emerged when old news­pa­per arti­cles about arrests at a 1927 Klan ral­ly in Queens (New York City) men­tioned a “Fred Trump” as among the “ber­obed marchers” arrest­ed at the event.

Although the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of Trump’s father as one of the Klan par­tic­i­pants has not been defin­i­tive­ly estab­lished, The Don­ald lied when con­front­ed with the address of the arrest­ed Fred Trump.

” . . . . asked if his father had lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road—the address list­ed for the Fred Trump arrest­ed at the 1927 Klan rally—Donald dis­missed the claim as “total­ly false.”

“We lived on Ware­ham,” he told Horowitz. “The Devonshire—I know there is a road ‘Devon­shire,’ but I don’t think my father ever lived on Devon­shire.” Trump went on to deny every­thing else in the Times’ account of the 1927 ral­ly: “It shouldn’t be writ­ten because it nev­er hap­pened, num­ber one. And num­ber two, there was nobody charged.”

Bio­graph­i­cal records con­firm that the Trump fam­i­ly did live on Ware­ham Place in Queens in the 1940s, when Don­ald was a kid. But accord­ing to at least one archived news­pa­per clip, Fred Trump also lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road: A wed­ding announce­ment in the Jan­u­ary 22, 1936 issue of the Long Island Dai­ly Press, places Fred Trump at that address, and refers to his wife as “Mary MacLeod,” which is Don­ald Trump’s mother’s maid­en name. . . .”

It seems alto­geth­er prob­a­ble that The Don­ald’s father was the “Fred Trump” arrest­ed at the ral­ly for “fail­ing to dis­perse,” but Fred Trump’s spe­cif­ic activ­i­ties at the Klan Ral­ly have not been estab­lished.

In the con­text of assess­ing the deep pol­i­tics sur­round­ing Trump, the pos­si­bil­i­ty of Klan par­tic­i­pa­tion by his father is inter­est­ing and pos­si­bly rel­e­vant. In Under Cov­er [16] (avail­able for down­load for free on this web­site), the exten­sive net­work­ing between dom­i­nant ele­ments of the KKK and var­i­ous Fifth Col­umn orga­ni­za­tions in this coun­try is cov­ered at length.

One of those Fifth Col­umn orga­ni­za­tions was Amer­i­ca First–again, Trump has appro­pri­at­ed that name.

Also of inter­est in the con­text of the “Fred Trump” arrest­ed at the Klan Ral­ly is the fact that David Duke has been an enthu­si­as­tic sup­port­er of Trump, who was alto­geth­er hes­i­tant about dis­avow­ing Duke’s sup­port.

All the Evi­dence We Could Find About Fred Trump’s Alleged Involve­ment with the KKK” by Mike Pearl; Vice News; 3/9/2016. [37]

Late last month, in an inter­view with Repub­li­can fron­trun­ner Don­ald Trump, CNN host Jake Tap­per asked the can­di­date whether he would dis­avow an endorse­ment from long­time Ku Klux Klan leader and white nation­al­ist celebri­ty David Duke. Trump declined. “I don’t know any­thing about David Duke,” he said. Moments lat­er, he added, “I know noth­ing about white suprema­cists.”

Trump has since walked back his com­ments, blam­ing his hes­i­tance to con­demn the Klan on a “bad ear­piece.” The mat­ter has now been filed away into the ever-grow­ing archives of volatile state­ments Trump has made about race and eth­nic­i­ty dur­ing the cur­rent elec­tion cycle—a list that includes kick­ing off his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign by call­ing Mex­i­cans rapists, call­ing for the “‘total and com­plete shut­down of Mus­lims enter­ing the Unit­ed States,” and com­ment­ing that per­haps a Black Lives Mat­ter pro­test­er at one of his ral­lies “should have been roughed up.”

But the par­tic­u­lars of the David Duke inci­dent call to mind yet anoth­er news sto­ry, one that sug­gests that Trump’s father, the late New York real estate titan Fred Trump, once wore the robe and hood of a Klans­man.

Ver­sions of this sto­ry emerged last Sep­tem­ber when Boing Boing dug up an old New York Times arti­cle from May of 1927 that list­ed a Fred Trump among those arrest­ed at a Klan ral­ly in Jamaica, Queens, when “1,000 Klans­men and 100 police­men staged a free-for-all,” in the streets. Don­ald Trump’s father would have been 21 in 1927 and had spent most of his life in Queens.

As Boing Boing point­ed out, the Times account sim­ply names Fred Trump as one of the sev­en indi­vid­u­als arrest­ed at the ral­ly, and it states that he was released with­out charges, leav­ing room for the pos­si­bil­i­ty that he “may have been an inno­cent bystander, false­ly named, or oth­er­wise the vic­tim of mis­tak­en iden­ti­ty dur­ing or fol­low­ing a chaot­ic event.”

A few weeks after Boing Boing unearthed that 88-year-old scoop, the New York Times asked Don­ald Trump about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that his father had been arrest­ed at a Klan event. The younger Trump denied it all, telling inter­view­er Jason Horowitz that “it nev­er hap­pened” four times. When Horowitz asked if his father had lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road—the address list­ed for the Fred Trump arrest­ed at the 1927 Klan rally—Donald dis­missed the claim as “total­ly false.”

“We lived on Ware­ham,” he told Horowitz. “The Devonshire—I know there is a road ‘Devon­shire,’ but I don’t think my father ever lived on Devon­shire.” Trump went on to deny every­thing else in the Times’ account of the 1927 ral­ly: “It shouldn’t be writ­ten because it nev­er hap­pened, num­ber one. And num­ber two, there was nobody charged.”

Bio­graph­i­cal records con­firm that the Trump fam­i­ly did live on Ware­ham Place in Queens in the 1940s, when Don­ald was a kid. But accord­ing to at least one archived news­pa­per clip, Fred Trump also lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road: A wed­ding announce­ment in the Jan­u­ary 22, 1936 issue of the Long Island Dai­ly Press, places Fred Trump at that address, and refers to his wife as “Mary MacLeod,” which is Don­ald Trump’s mother’s maid­en name.

More­over, three addi­tion­al news­pa­per clips unearthed by VICE con­tain sep­a­rate accounts of Fred Trump’s arrest at the May 1927 KKK ral­ly in Queens, each of which seems to con­firm the Times account of the events that day. While the clips don’t con­firm whether Fred Trump was actu­al­ly a mem­ber of the Klan, they do sug­gest that the rally—and the sub­se­quent arrests—did hap­pen, and did involve Don­ald Trump’s father, con­trary to the candidate’s denials. A fifth arti­cle men­tions the sev­en arrestees with­out giv­ing names, and claims that all of the indi­vid­u­als arrested—presumably includ­ing Trump—were wearing Klan attire.

The June 1, 1927, account of the May 31 Klan ral­ly print­ed in a defunct Brook­lyn paper called the Dai­ly Star spec­i­fies that a Fred Trump “was dis­missed on a charge of refus­ing to dis­perse.” That arti­cle lists sev­en total arrests, and states that four of those arrest­ed were expect­ed to go to court, and two were paroled. Fred Trump was the only one not held on charges.

The Klan’s reac­tion to the alleged police bru­tal­i­ty at the ral­ly was the sub­ject of anoth­er arti­cle, pub­lished in the Queens Coun­ty Evening News on June 2, 1927, and titled “Klan Plac­ards Assail Police, As War Vets Seek Parade Con­trol.” The piece is main­ly about the Klan dis­trib­ut­ing leaflets about being “assault­ed” by the “Roman Catholic police of New York City” at that same ral­ly. The arti­cle men­tions Fred Trump as hav­ing been “dis­charged” and gives the Devon­shire Road address, along with the names and address­es of the oth­er six men who faced charges.

Yet anoth­er account in anoth­er defunct local news­pa­per, the Rich­mond Hill Record, pub­lished on June 3, 1927, lists Fred Trump as one of the “Klan Arrests,” and also lists the Devon­shire Road address.

Anoth­er arti­cle about the ral­ly, pub­lished by the Long Island Dai­ly Press on June 2, 1927, men­tions that there were sev­en arrestees with­out list­ing names, and claims that all of the indi­vid­u­als arrest­ed were wear­ing Klan attire. The sto­ry, titled “Meet­ing on Parade Is Called Off,” focus­es on the police actions at the ral­ly, not­ing crit­i­cism of the cops for bru­tal­ly lash­ing out at the Klan sup­port­ers, who had assem­bled dur­ing a Memo­r­i­al Day parade.

While the Long Island Dai­ly Press doesn’t men­tion Fred Trump specif­i­cal­ly, the num­ber of arrestees cit­ed in the report is con­sis­tent with the oth­er accounts of the ral­ly. Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the arti­cle refers to all of the arrestees as “ber­obed marchers.” If Fred Trump, or anoth­er one of the atten­dees, wasn’t dressed in a robe at the time, that may have been a report­ing error worth cor­rect­ing.

Accord­ing to Rory McVeigh, chair­man of the soci­ol­o­gy depart­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Notre Dame, the ver­sion of the Klan that would have been active in Queens dur­ing the 1920s may not have nec­es­sar­i­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in stereo­typ­i­cal KKK activ­i­ties like fiery cross­es and lynch mobs.

“The Klan that became very pop­u­lar in the ear­ly 1920s did advo­cate white suprema­cy like the orig­i­nal Klan,” McVeigh told VICE in an email. “But in that respect, [its views were] not too much dif­fer­ent from a lot of oth­er white Amer­i­cans of that time peri­od.” In New York, McVeigh added, “the organization’s oppo­si­tion to immi­gra­tion and Catholics prob­a­bly held the biggest appeal for most of the peo­ple who joined.”

None of the arti­cles prove that Fred Trump was a mem­ber of the Klan, and it’s pos­si­ble that he was, as Boing Boing sug­gest­ed, just a bystander at the ral­ly. But while Don­ald Trump is absolute­ly right to say that his father was not charged in the 1927 inci­dent, the candidate’s oth­er claims—that Fred Trump nev­er lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road, and more impor­tant­ly, that his involve­ment in a Klan ral­ly “nev­er happened”—appear to be untrue.

The Trump cam­paign did not respond to mul­ti­ple requests for com­ment. . . .

9a. As his cam­paign was gain­ing momen­tum in July of 2015, Don­ald Trump tweet­ed a cam­paign ad that fea­tured a pic­ture of uni­formed Waf­fen SS troop­ers in the low­er right-hand cor­ner. A pho­to­graph of Waf­fen SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors, the pic­ture was blamed on “an intern.” This has become a famil­iar sort of dodge by Trump when caught tweet­ing [46] open­ly racist, anti-Semit­ic and/or pro-Nazi material–“Who, Me?”

In FTR #882 [19], we not­ed some of Trump’s “inter­est­ing” asso­ci­a­tions, from SS offi­cer Otto Von Bolschwing pro­tege and Rea­gan staffer Helene Von Damm, to Joe McCarthy aide Roy Cohn, to for­mer Axis spy Nor­man Vin­cent Peale. Those alle­giances are recapped above in the descrip­tion for this pro­gram.

We won­der if Trump is linked to, or part of, the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work [47]?

In FTR #894 [48], we under­scored the long and pro­found asso­ci­a­tion of the GOP with Nazis [49] and SS war crim­i­nals via the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, the over­lap­ping Cru­sade For Free­dom [50], and the for­mer World Anti-Com­mu­nist League. [51]

We won­der if the use of Waf­fen SS-clad troop­ers is a polit­i­cal “dog whis­tle” to Under­ground Reich/Nazi/white suprema­cist adher­ents?

Inter­est­ing­ly, and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the broth­er of the pho­tog­ra­ph­er who snapped the orig­i­nal pic­ture had also had a pic­ture of SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors [52] used by Tim Spear, a GOP state leg­is­la­tor in North Car­oli­na, in his 2010 cam­paign [53].

Worth con­sid­er­ing in this con­text is the fact that it is VERY sim­ple to come up with pic­tures of Amer­i­can sol­diers in uni­form. Any cam­paign seek­ing to cloak a can­di­date in “patri­ot­ic garb” would find it VERY easy to do that with­out resort­ing to the same pair of broth­ers’ pho­tographs of Waf­fen-SS-clad WWII reen­ac­tors.

“I have pho­tos of Amer­i­can sol­diers as well,” Cairns said. “But for some rea­son, [Amer­i­can GOP] politi­cians seem to be down­load­ing Nazis.” . . .

Also: in right-wing and some mil­i­tary peri­od­i­cals, the WWII Nazi mem­o­ra­bil­ia, gear and reen­act­ment milieu has been described as among the pos­si­ble entry por­tals avail­able to some­one who wants to move from play­ing with toys to actu­al Nazi activism.

Are we see­ing that here?

“Don­ald Trump Just Tweet­ed a Cam­paign Ad Fea­tur­ing What Look Like Nazi Sol­diers” by Ben Drey­fuss; Moth­er Jones; 7/14/2015. [24]

UPDATE: We spoke to the dude who took this Nazi pho­to and he told us some­thing that makes this whole sto­ry even more hilar­i­ous.Read here. [25]

Not long ago, Don­ald Trump sent out the fol­low­ing tweet:

The tweet is now delet­ed. Why did Trump delete it? Maybe it has some­thing to with those the sol­diers march­ing next to The Don­ald’s shoul­der:

#MEGAFAIL [54] ===> Yes, those aren’t just WW2 Ger­mans, they’re Waf­fen-SS in the Trump cam­paign pic https://t.co/BSFNuNrK6R [55]

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [56]

Yes, Trump (or his graph­ic design min­ions) appar­ent­ly includ­ed a pho­to of sol­diers from the Waf­fen-SS [57], the noto­ri­ous mil­i­tary wing of the Nazi SS, in the image. John Schindler, who seems to know his World War II Ger­man uni­forms, has been detail­ing the Trump cam­paign’s pho­to-research fail:

100% cer­tain Waf­fen-SS ID on the Trump pic....if media want an explain­er how I am cer­tain, ask me https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHY [58]

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [59]

.@charles_gaba [60]@MichaelNiemerg [61]@realDonaldTrump [62] they’re wear­ing Waf­fen-SS cuff titles, FFS...dude on left has late-war SS “dot” camo uni­form

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [63]

Notice the late-war Waf­fen-SS “dot” camo tunic, with SS eagle on left arm as in the Trump pic https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHY [58]pic.twitter.com/ulScwicbZU [64]

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [65]

See also Waf­fen-SS tunic with unit cuff title & SS eagle on left arm, as in Trump pic https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHY [58]pic.twitter.com/IdQlwcIebJ [66]

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015 [67]

It’s not clear what the source of the pho­to in the Trump tweet is; the sol­diers in the pho­to could be mod­ern-day World War II reen­ac­tors. Accord­ing to the most recent poll [68] from Suffolk/USA Today, Trump leads the GOP field by three points.

Update, Tues­day 3:40pm ET: And the answers begin to trick­le in...

Found @realDonaldTrump [62]’s ger­man sol­dier stock image here (searched “world war II sol­diers”) http://t.co/GKkcNTUKpm [69]pic.twitter.com/ysWGeePZIr [70]

— Reed F. Richard­son (@reedfrich) July 14, 2015 [71]

Update 2, Tues­day 3:46pm ET: This GIF, by our own Ivylise Simones, is per­fect:

GIF: Ivylise Simones

Update 3, Tues­day 4:00pm ET: The Trump cam­paign says an intern did it:

Trump cam­paign responds: An intern did it. pic.twitter.com/oZBJAtwffl [72]

— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) July 14, 2015 [73]

9b. “In an almost impos­si­bly bizarre coin­ci­dence . . . . George’s broth­er John is also a stock pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and took the image [74] of Nazi reen­ac­tors that was acci­den­tal­ly used in a fli­er [53] for the cam­paign of North Car­oli­na state leg­is­la­tor Tim Spear in 2010. . . .”

“The Insane Sto­ry Behind Don­ald Trump’s Delet­ed Nazi Tweet” by Tim McDon­nell; Moth­er Jones; 7/14/2015. [25]

. . . . Cairns is a British free­lance stock pho­tog­ra­ph­er and pho­tog­ra­phy instruc­tor who says he fre­quents war reen­act­ments as good loca­tions to pick up real­is­tic-look­ing stock images—not just of Nazis, but also of Amer­i­can GIs and oth­er sol­diers. . . .

. . . . In an almost impos­si­bly bizarre coin­ci­dence, this isn’t the first time the Cairns fam­i­ly has been caught up in a pho­to ker­fuf­fle involv­ing Nazis and Amer­i­can politi­cians. George’s broth­er John is also a stock pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and took the image [74] of Nazi reen­ac­tors that was acci­den­tal­ly used in a fli­er [53] for the cam­paign of North Car­oli­na state leg­is­la­tor Tim Spear in 2010.

“I have pho­tos of Amer­i­can sol­diers as well,” Cairns said. “But for some rea­son, [Amer­i­can GOP] politi­cians seem to be down­load­ing Nazis.” . . .

10a. Some­times, things aren’t all that hard to fig­ure out and don’t need a lot of expla­na­tion. The GOP, in gen­er­al, has used dog whis­tles to ener­gize peo­ple who nor­mal­ly should not vote for a par­ty of the rich, which the Repub­li­cans most sure­ly are.

A recent tweet by “The Don­ald” attack­ing Hillary speaks for itself. Just check this out!

This sparked an online Fuhrer, er, furor!

We already knew that Don­ald Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speech­es by his bed, accord­ing to a 1990 inter­view of Ivana Trump [29].

It is not sur­pris­ing that the tweet did not orig­i­nate with Trump, but with a Nazi online mes­sage board [75].

David Duke has endorsed Trump’s re-tweet, but­tress­ing [76] its anti-Semit­ic mes­sage.

“Trump Sparks Online Firestorm with Anti-Clin­ton Tweet Fea­tur­ing Star of David” by Caitlin Dick­son; Yahoo News; 7/02/2016. [26]

Pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump drew wide­spread rebuke on Sat­ur­day with a tweet fea­tur­ing a Star of David while accus­ing rival Hillary Clin­ton of cor­rup­tion.

The star, a sym­bol of Judaism, was on a back­drop of $100 bills and paired with a Fox News poll in which a major­i­ty of respon­dents described Clin­ton as cor­rupt. Next to Clinton’s face was a red Star of David bear­ing the words “Most Cor­rupt Can­di­date Ever!” . . . .

10b. It is not sur­pris­ing that the tweet did not orig­i­nate with Trump, but with a Nazi online mes­sage boardTrump has made this a sig­na­ture maneu­ver of his cam­paign.

“Don­ald Trump’s “Star of David” Hillary Clin­ton Meme Was Cre­at­ed by White Suprema­cists” by Antho­ny Smith; News.Mic; 7/03/2016. [27]

Don­ald Trump tweet­ed a meme Sat­ur­day that used dog-whis­tle anti-Semi­tism to announce that his polit­i­cal rival, “Crooked Hillary,” had “made his­to­ry.” The meme Trump tweet­ed promi­nent­ly fea­tured the Star of David — a holy sym­bol of the Jew­ish reli­gion that Nazis attempt­ed to per­vert by forc­ing Jews over the age of 6 to sew it onto their cloth­ing dur­ing Hitler’s reign.

Embla­zoned onto the Star of David in Trump’s meme are the words “Most Cor­rupt Can­di­date Ever!”

The star lies atop a giant pile of mon­ey.
[see tweet]
Mic dis­cov­ered Sun­day that Don­ald Trump’s Twit­ter account wasn’t the first place the meme appeared. The image was pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured on /pol/ — an Inter­net mes­sage board for the alt-right, a dig­i­tal move­ment of neo-Nazis, anti-Semi­tes and white suprema­cists new­ly embold­ened by the suc­cess of Trump’s rhetoric — as ear­ly as June 22, over a week before Trump’s team tweet­ed it.
[see alt-right forum image]
Though the thread where the meme was fea­tured no longer exists, you can find it by search­ing the URL in Archive.is, a “time cap­sule of the inter­net” that saves unal­ter­able text and graph­ic of web­pages. Doing so allows you to see the thread on /pol/ as it orig­i­nal­ly exist­ed.

Of note is the file name of the pho­to, HillHistory.jpg, poten­tial­ly a nod to the Neo-Nazi code for “HH,” or “Heil Hitler,” which the alt-right is fond of hid­ing in plain sight.

The water­mark on the low­er-left cor­ner of the image leads to a Twit­ter account that reg­u­lar­ly tweets vio­lent, racist memes com­ment­ing on the state of geopo­lit­i­cal pol­i­tics.
[see image]
Oth­er exam­ples of images tweet­ed by this account include vio­lent pro­pa­gan­da about Mus­lims and refugees and racist images of Clin­ton:
[see tweet]
[see image]
[see image]
Mic pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed white suprema­cists ral­ly on the inter­net to expose what they believe to be a vast anti-white con­spir­a­cy, cen­turies old, in which Jews have paid off politi­cians and infil­trat­ed the media to under­mine West­ern soci­ety from the top down. The Clin­ton meme Trump tweet­ed — which first appeared on per­haps the biggest bas­tion of the anti-Semit­ic alt-right — has brought that same hate­ful para­noia into the main­stream.

One rela­tion­ship of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance to their “anti-White con­spir­a­cy” is that between Jew­ish reporters and Hillary Clin­ton, whom they believe to be work­ing in tan­dem to under­mine the West­ern world, pre­vent­ing nations like the U.S. from becom­ing more like their vision of utopia — a nation with racial puri­ty among its core val­ues.
[see image]
On Sat­ur­day, Trump delet­ed his orig­i­nal tweet of the meme and in its place uploaded an alter­ation that replaces the Star of David with a cir­cle.
[see tweet]
In Novem­ber, Trump retweet­ed a meme per­pet­u­at­ing the racist lie explic­it­ly that black peo­ple com­mit­ted more vio­lent crimes against white peo­ple than any oth­er race. That was found to have orig­i­nat­ed from the alt-right inter­net as well.

10c. David Duke has endorsed Trump’s re-tweet, but­tress­ing its anti-Semit­ic mes­sage.

“Ex-KKK Leader David Duke Loved Trump’s Star Of David Tweet” by Kather­ine Krueger; Talk­ing Points Memo Livewire; 7/05/2016. [28]

Avid Don­ald Trump sup­port­er and for­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was a big fan of the pre­sump­tive GOP nominee’s con­tro­ver­sial tweet over the week­end, which was wide­ly read as anti-Semit­ic.

After the Trump camp pulled an anti-Hillary Clin­ton tweet that includ­ed a six-point star and post­ed an edit­ed ver­sion, Duke tweet­ed Sat­ur­day that he wel­comes the expo­sure of “the hid­den hand.”

Trump’s orig­i­nal tweet fea­tured a meme, appar­ent­ly plumbed from a cor­ner of the white suprema­cist inter­net, label­ing Clin­ton the “most cor­rupt can­di­date ever,” inside a six-point star and over­laid on a bed of mon­ey.
Trump lat­er claimed the image was a “sheriff’s star” and blamed the “dis­hon­est media” for label­ing the image a Star of David. . . . .

11a. Check out 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. But there have been past dif­fer­ences too, espe­cial­ly fol­low­ing the crash of 2008 when Trump tried to wrig­gle out of his debt by claim­ing the crash was an act of god. And as a con­se­quence of all the the com­mer­cial lend­ing arm of Deutsche Bank basi­cal­ly wants noth­ing to do with Trump. But that’s ok, since the Pri­vate Bank branch has decid­ed Trump is an ok cus­tomer. Or at least a good enough cus­tomer to lend Trump $300 mil­lion in recent years [31]:

“When Don­ald Trump Needs a Loan, He Choos­es Deutsche Bank” by Anupree­ta Das; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 3/20/2016. [31]

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 [33] 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.

11b. The fact that Don­ald Trump recent­ly bor­rowed a large sum a mon­ey to one of the finan­cial world’s biggest ser­i­al reg­u­la­to­ry vio­la­tors does seem like the kind of thing that could become an issue in the 2016? At least it’s seems very pos­si­ble. Espe­cial­ly since Deutsche Bank still faces mul­ti­ple inves­ti­ga­tions, still real­ly, real­ly wants to see the post-cri­sis reg­u­la­tions go away, and Trump still has at least $100 mil­lion that it’s wait­ing for Trump to pay back:

“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. [32]

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

In his most recent finan­cial dis­clo­sure state­ment [77], 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?

11c. 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 [78]).

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 [79], 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. [34] In past dis­cus­sion and analy­sis, we not­ed that Soros got his start in busi­ness “Aryaniz­ing” [35] 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 [80]. The con­do units on the Trump Tow­er were basi­cal­ly sold out by 2014, so busi­ness was clear­ly pret­ty good [81] 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. [34]

* In 2005 Trump start­ed con­struc­tion on his sky­scraper the Trump Inter­na­tion­al Hotel and Tow­er (Chica­go) [82]
* 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) [82], 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 [83]

Soros along with Fortress and Black­acre came to Trump with just such a loan at a cost­ly $160 mil­lion prin­ci­pal*. The 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 [84]

“Big names back Trump tow­er” Chica­go Tri­bune – Octo­ber 28, 2004 [84]

“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 [85]

“In Chica­go, Trump Hits Head­winds” The Wall Street Jour­nal – Octo­ber 29, 2008 [85]

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 [85]

“In Chica­go, Trump Hits Head­winds” The Wall Street Jour­nal – Octo­ber 29, 2008 [85]

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 [80]

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 [86]

“How Long Does It Take To Pay Off a Sky­scraper?” Slate – July 12, 2012 [86]

(For­tu­nate­ly for Trump, favor­able finan­cial con­di­tions exist­ed in 2012. 6 [87]By all accounts, includ­ing his own, Trump was ready and able to pay off the loans for his Chica­go tow­er. 7 [88])

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 [89]

“Trump buys out tow­er cred­i­tors” Crain’s Chica­go Busi­ness– March 28, 2012 [89]

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 [89]

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. 6 [89]7 [90]

**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 [83]
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 [84]
3. “In Chica­go, Trump Hits Head­winds” The Wall Street Jour­nal – Octo­ber 29, 2008:http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122523704293478077 [85]
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 [80]
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 [86]
6. “Mort­gage rates sink to new record low” CNN Mon­ey – June 7, 2012:http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/07/real_estate/mortgage-rates/ [87]
7. “The 400 Rich­est Amer­i­cans – #134 Don­ald Trump” Forbes – Sept. 17, 2008:http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml [88]
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 [89]
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 [90]

11d. We con­clude with review of 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. [91]

. . . . 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. . . .