A Billion Dollar Terrorist

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

So Donald Trump is a billionaire after all, but only in debt.  The New York Times’ reporting about the president’s tax returns shows that he owes $1.1 billion in loans and mortgages, all coming due in the next five years, and it explains why Trump cannot afford not to be president anymore.  Suddenly it makes sense why Trump downplayed the COVID pandemic and pushed hard for schools to reopen, so that parents can go back to work, why the White House edited CDC documents, and why the president brought in Dr. Scott Atlas, who promotes herd immunity that would kill millions but keep the economy functioning.  Trump needs money, and since his assets are in real estate, hotels and golf courses, businesses that cannot operate on-line, his pipe dream is a ‘miraculously strong’ third quarter, followed by an even stronger fourth, as unlikely as that is to occur.  Part of his problem is that he believes in his self-created myth of being a successful businessman, but properties that have been losing money for years won’t suddenly turn a profit, not even with a strong economy, and as much as the president may fantasize about revenues most of his assets remain negative.       

If Trump cannot make money the old-fashioned way, running successful businesses – something he has never done in his life – the presidency offers him a lifeline.  As long as he is in the White House banks and other lenders won’t foreclose on him, and foreign countries will consider him a good investment as long as he actively or passively wields US power in their interest.  The tax returns do not divulge the amount of foreign money already planted in the Trump Organization, legally or illegally, but going by Trump’s sons’ past statements the Russian contribution alone is enormous.  Hence the president’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election and to guarantee a peaceful transition of power if he loses.  He will fight tooth and nail to hold on to the Oval Office, assisted by the criminal mastermind who runs the Department of Justice.  Upcoming election litigation is the reason why an ultra-conservative Justice must be confirmed before November 3rd, and as much as getting rid of the ACA and taking health care away from 23 million Americans would be a nice side effect, it is not the primary reason why Amy Coney Barrett was nominated a week after RBG’S passing.

In Tuesday night’s ‘debate’ Trump made it perfectly clear that he not only is sabotaging the election, but also that he’ll completely disturb the process leading up to it. He knows that he’s losing, with Biden’s poll numbers in most battleground states already well outside of the margin of error, and realizes that he cannot expand his base. So his only option is to try and keep Democratic voters away from the polls or the mailboxes, and if that doesn’t work, discredit and challenge the election results in a drawn out court battle. The best he can hope for is that we’ll never know who won.

If Putin put a lot of money in Trump’s pockets it was well spent. All of his career the Russian leader has tried to undermine American democracy, but until Trump he didn’t have the tool to do it. And Trump’s dire financial situation gives him, or any other foreign despot, more options. He can buy Trump’s debt, and hold it as leverage over the president, or he can offer to pay off the debt when it’s due in return for certain favors. Either way, the president would be a foreign asset as long as he’s in the White House.

The scariest part of the debate was when Trump failed to disavow white supremacists, according to the FBI the number one domestic terror threat, even asking for the name of a specific group – as if it makes a difference – and then telling the ‘Proud Boys’ to stand by. Together with Don Trump Jr.’s calling for ‘an army’ to show up on November 3rd we witnessed the US President threatening with a terrorist attack on the election, let that sink in.


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