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CNN | 3/2/2021 | Listen
Donald Trump has a money problem
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-largeUpdated: Fri, 22 Jan
2021 01:08:12 GMTSource: CNN
Just 24 hours after Donald Trump formally left the White House -- and
the presidency -- behind, it's increasingly clear that his money
problems are getting worse, not better.
According to financial disclosure documents released in the hours after
Trump left the White House to fly to his new home in Florida, the
ex-President's eponymous company took a major revenue hit over the
Overall, Trump's businesses produced almost 40% less revenue in
2020 versus 2019. He made $30 million less at his Doral property in
Miami than he did in 2019. Revenue at the Trump International Hotel in
Washington and the former President's Turnberry property in
Scotland were down more than 60% year over year.
And, as CNN's Charles Riley notes, those downturns came even
before a series of companies cut ties following Trump's role in
the incitement of rioters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6.
While some -- maybe much? -- of the downturn in Trump's financial
fortunes can be laid at the feet of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
and the societal restrictions it has forced on all of the travel and
hospitality industry, the "why" of Trump's falling
fortune matters far less than the "what now."
You'll remember -- and, if not, I am here to remind you -- that
Trump faces a series of financial challenges in the coming months and
years, primarily tied to his personal guarantees on a series of
multimillion dollar loans.
As The New York Times' David Leonhardt wrote of Trump's tax
returns in late 2020:
"He appears to be responsible for loans totaling $421 million,
most of which is coming due within four years.
"Should he win re-election, his lenders could be placed in the
unprecedented position of weighing whether to foreclose on a sitting
president. Whether he wins or loses, he will probably need to find new
ways to use his brand — and his popularity among tens of millions of
Americans — to make money."
So, Trump didn't win reelection.
And not only that but, on his way out the door, he peddled a series of
lies about the 2020 election that played a not-insignificant part in a
riot on January 6 that led to the violent storming of the US Capitol
and triggered his second impeachment by the House.
All of which is likely to even further complicate Trump's ability
to a) make money and b) pay off his looming debts.
The Point: For all of the talk about Trump's next political moves,
it's his dicey financial future that is likely his focus now that
he is out of office.
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