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Trump, Inc.

WNYC Studios

587
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3.2K
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Trump, Inc.

Trump, Inc.

WNYC Studios

587
Followers
3.2K
Plays
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About Us

He’s the President, yet we’re still trying to answer basic questions about how his business works: What deals are happening, who they’re happening with, and if the President and his family are keeping their promise to separate the Trump Organization from the Trump White House. “Trump, Inc.” is a joint reporting project from WNYC Studios and ProPublica that digs deep into these questions. We’ll be layout out what we know, what we don’t and how you can help us fill in the gaps. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts, including On the Media, Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Nancy and many others. ProPublica is a non-profit investigative newsroom.© WNYC Studios

Latest Episodes

Trump Team Online

This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations. Donald Trump is famous — and infamous — for his use of Twitter and Facebook. But particularly since the pandemic forced him to largely swear off his favorite mass, in-person rallies, his campaign has been amping up the use of another form of alternative media: YouTube and podcasts. The president’s most recent sit-down interview? As it happens, it occurred last week on “Triggered,” a YouTube program hosted by his namesake son. In a conversation in the White House’s map room, Trump Jr. quizzed his dad about everything from who his favorite child is to whether aliens exist — to a Fox News report that Osama bin Laden wanted to assassinate President Barack Obama so that Joe Biden would ascend to the presidency. This was no ordinary campaign video, nor was it a random question, this week’s episode of “Trump, Inc.” makes clear. “Triggered” followed the exchange about bin Laden with a campaign ad that repeated the same point, showing how closely the program’s conversations are tied in with campaign talking points. “Trump, Inc.” explores the Trump campaign’s universe of podcasts and YouTube shows, which has expanded since the coronavirus began locking down huge swaths of the country. (The campaign did not respond to requests for comment.) Sure, every major candidate has a podcast. Hillary Clinton had one. Biden has one, though it hasn’t been updated since mid-May. But unlike those dutiful and largely ignored offerings, “Triggered” is part of a growing constellation of shows. There’s the campaign’s official podcast, hosted by Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara. (Kayleigh McEnany used to fill in occasionally as host before being promoted to White House press secretary.) And there’s “The Right View.” Just imagine “The View,” conducted entirely on Zoom, if Meghan McCain was considered too liberal to be on the panel and if no one ever disagreed. The programs have combined to create something of a Trump media network, one that takes the president’s bellicose messaging and transports it to an environment of family, friendship and banter. People are starting to pay attention. Nightly programming of the unofficial Trump Network reaches upward of a million viewers each week. It’s a realm dedicated to reinforcing even the president’s most incendiary ideas — with no pushback, skepticism or difference of opinion. To learn more about how the programs lay out their views of everything from bin Laden assassination plots to the controversy over vote by mail, listen to this week’s episode of “Trump, Inc.”

22 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Trump Team Online

The Watchdogs

This story was co-published with ProPublica.Sign up foremail updates from Trump, Inc.to get the latest onourinvestigations. When Congress was considering passing the more than $2 trillion coronavirus bailout two months ago, President Donald Trump made his vision for oversight clear. “I’ll be the oversight,” he said. The CARES Act empowers a number of different offices to make sure the money is spent wisely and without favoritism. Shortly after he signed it into law, Trump ousted the inspector general who was slated to lead the oversight — one of five watchdogs the president has purged in less than two months. Trump also issued a signing statement asserting that he can ignore oversight provisions of the bailout law and that Congress does not have to be consulted. “My Administration will treat this provision as hortatory but not mandatory,” he wrote. We spoke to an official just hired to do one of the jobs Trump cited in his signing statement. She told us that Trump’s moves hav...

42 MINJUN 11
Comments
The Watchdogs

New Questions for Trump’s Biggest Lenders

This story was co-published with ProPublica.Our reportingon President Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bankwas originally published in May 2019. A decade ago, loan filings showed Trump Tower in New York City had a reported profit of about $13.3 million. But when the tower refinanced its debt soon after, the profits for the same year — 2010 — somehow appeared higher. A new lender listed the profits as $16.1 million, or 21% more than they had been recorded previously. The next year’s earnings for the building also “improved” between the two filings. Profits for 2011 were listed as 12% higher under the new loan than the old, according to reports by loan servicers and data provider Trepp. ProPublica uncovered the Trump Tower discrepancies by examining publicly available data for mortgages that are packaged into securities known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, comparing the same years in reports for different CMBS. If a bank had held onto the loan, instead of selling it to investors, such information would have been kept private. No evidence has emerged that the Trump Organization was involved in changing the profit figures. Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, said: “Not only were the numbers provided to the servicer accurate, but Trump Tower is considered one of the most underleveraged commercial buildings around.” The discrepancies in the tower profits match a pattern described in a whistleblower complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which ProPublica revealed this month. The complaint accuses commercial lenders of fraudulently inflating the income numbers underlying loans in many CMBS. The complaint named seven servicers and 14 lenders, including two of the country’s biggest issuers of CMBS — Ladder Capital and Wells Fargo. Both were involved in the more recent Trump Tower loan, one as the lender, the second as the financial institution that packaged the loan into a CMBS. The complaint does not say which entities altered specific numbers and does not address whether borrowers were involved in, or knew about, the alleged fraud. Wells Fargo declined to comment. Ladder Capital did not respond to questions about Trump’s signature Fifth Avenue tower. Ladder did respond to questions for ProPublica’s earlier article; it acknowledged it had altered historical numbers for two other loans ProPublica asked about, to remove expenses that were not recurring in the future. The lender said its actions were appropriate. (Ladder is a publicly traded commercial real estate investment trust with more than $6 billion in assets. It employs Jack Weisselberg, the son of the Trump Organization’s longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, as an executive director whose job is to make loans. Jack Weisselberg declined to comment.) When the Trump Organization refinanced its loan for Trump Tower in 2012, it increased the size of its loan from $27.5 million to $100 million, extracting $67.9 million in cash. The interest-only loan originally represented about 8% of the more than $1 billion in mortgages assembled into the CMBS. (Only the commercial part of the tower — with retail tenants such as Gucci and offices, including for the Trump Organization — served as collateral for the loan.) For both 2010 and 2011, data shows the discrepancies in net operating income between the old and new loans for Trump Tower were largely due to the new loan reporting lower expenses. The prospectus for the more recent loan stated that “the historical expenses exclude security associated with Donald J. Trump’s personal services” — though it did not specify dollar amounts for the change. Greater revenues were cited for both years under the new loan, too, but the prospectus did not explain why. The whistleblower complaint, filed by a CMBS-industry insider named John Flynn, concerns the nearly $600 billion CMBS market. It accuses lenders and servicers of manipulating historical cash flows, failing to report misrepresentations

50 MINMAY 28
Comments
New Questions for Trump’s Biggest Lenders

Temporary Presidential Immunity

This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up foremail updates from Trump, Inc.to get the latest onourinvestigations. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday, via teleconference, about the power to investigate the president. President Donald Trump has objected to subpoenas for his tax returns and other financial records. New York City prosecutors have demanded the documents as part of a criminal investigation into the president’s hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, while the House of Representatives has been seeking to investigate the conflicts of interests of a president who still owns a sprawling business. Trump’s lawyers have argued that a president shouldn’t be subject to investigation while in office. “We're asking for temporary presidential immunity,” attorney Jay Sekulow said. Andrea Bernstein of Trump, Inc. and NYU law professor Melissa Murray listened to the oral arguments and chatted with co-host Ilya Marritz about what struck them. A ...

30 MINMAY 14
Comments
Temporary Presidential Immunity

The Accountants

On May 12, after a six-week delay caused by the pandemic, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the epic battle by congressional committees and New York prosecutors to pry loose eight years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Much about the case is without precedent. Oral arguments will be publicly broadcast on live audio. The nine justices and opposing lawyers will debate the issues remotely, from their offices and homes. And the central question is extraordinary: Is the president of the United States immune from congressional — and even criminal — investigation? The arguments concern whether Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, must hand over his tax returns and other records to a House committee and the Manhattan district attorney, which have separately subpoenaed them. (There will also be arguments on congressional subpoenas to two of Trump’s banks.) Trump’s accountants have been crucial enablers in his remarkable rise. And like their marquee client, they have...

37 MINMAY 7
Comments
The Accountants

He Went To Jared

On April 2, Jared Kushner uncharacteristically took to the podium to speak at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing. He’d been given the task, he said, of assisting Vice President Mike Pence’s Coronavirus Task Force with supply chain issues. “The president,” Kushner said, “wanted us to make sure we think outside the box, make sure we’re finding all the best thinkers in the country, making sure we’re getting all the best ideas, and that we’re doing everything possible to make sure that we can keep Americans safe.” That very day, he said, President Donald Trump told him that “he was hearing from friends of his in New York that the New York public hospital system was running low on critical supply.” So Kushner called Dr. Mitchell Katz, who runs the 12-hospital system, which serves, in a normal year, over a million patients. Kushner said he’d asked Katz which supply he was most nervous about: “He told me it was the N95 masks. I asked what his daily burn was. And I basically got that number.” In a chaotic environment, the New Jersey boy turned Manhattan businessman turned senior White House adviser is using his clout to help the cities and states at the epicenter of a global pandemic get the aid they need. Yet there’s another side to the equation. Kushner’s role is also a symptom of the dysfunction of the Trump administration, according to critics, some of whom worked in emergency management under Republican and Democratic administrations. The ad hoc nature of Kushner’s mission and its lack of transparency make it hard for people — and government agencies — to know exactly what he’s doing. So far, those officials say, there's little sign Kushner or anyone at the White House is helping New York or New Jersey with their urgent longer-term needs, particularly more testing and billions from Congress to ease the gaping holes that have emerged in local budgets. ”If you can reach Jared, if you can applaud Jared, if you can convince him that you're the most needy, he will deliver for you,” said Juliette Kayyem, faculty chair of the homeland security project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former assistant secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration. But his role bypasses long-held tenets of how the federal government should work in a national emergency, she said, without addressing systemic problems, much less reinventing the bureaucracy. “What's outside the box? What process is outside the box? It can't possibly be Kushner's [giving out his] cellphone number,” Kayyem said. “But that's what it appears to be.” Read the text version of this story at ProPublica. Related episodes:• Dirt• How Trump Is Eligible For A Coronavirus Rescue• What To Look Out For

33 MINAPR 23
Comments
He Went To Jared

How Trump Is Eligible for a Coronavirus Rescue

In a late March press briefing on the coronavirus, President Trump turned the microphone over to Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of a company called MyPillow. Lindell — a regular on Fox News and at Trump properties, and a high-dollar donor to Republican causes — talked about how his company was pivoting from pillows to protective masks — and effusively praised the president's leadership. We've been thinking about who stands to benefit from the coronavirus bailout, and that unusual moment highlights the close links between Trump and allies who stands to benefit (often in more ways than just publicity) from the government response to the pandemic.On this episode of the show we're examining: •How the Trump family business qualifies for the two trillion dollar bailout•How businesses close to Trump are getting regulatory rollbacks and other long-sought goals•And what kind of oversight we should be expect in this new and uncertain era Check outreporter Meg Cramer's story about how...

30 MINAPR 9
Comments
How Trump Is Eligible for a Coronavirus Rescue

What To Look Out For

The “Trump, Inc.” podcast has long explored how people have tried to benefit through their proximity to the Oval Office. And we'regoing to continue digging into that as the Trump administration is tasked with rolling out more than $2 trillion in bailout money. We spoke to two people this week to help us understand the stakes. “Some policymakers sitting in the Treasury Department or some other government agency have this awesome power to say, ‘You get the money, you go out of business,.’” said Neil Barofsky, who served as the government’s watchdog for the 2008 bank bailout. “One of the most important things we can do is make sure that power is exercised fairly, consistently, and, most importantly, consistent with the policy goals that underlie this extraordinary outpouring of taxpayer money.” We also spoke with journalist Sarah Chayes, a former NPR correspondent who has reported on corruption and cronyism in countries experiencing economic shock. She said powerful players often “take advantage of adversity and uncertainty to enrich themselves.” But Chayes also described something else. She coined it “disaster solidarity.” That’s when there’s so much suffering, so much adversity, “that people's tolerance for selfish, hogging, me-first behavior is really low.” And that’s where you come in. We want your help to dig into the coming bailout. If you know something, please tell us. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. for the latest onWNYC and ProPublica's investigations.

22 MINMAR 28
Comments
What To Look Out For

Trump’s Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say

The Trump Organization paid bribes, through middlemen, to New York City tax assessors to lower its property tax bills for several Manhattan buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, according to five former tax assessors and city employees as well as a former Trump Organization employee. Two of the five city employees said they personally took bribes to lower the assessment on a Trump property; the other three said they had indirect knowledge of the payments. The city employees were among 18 indicted in 2002 for taking bribes in exchange for lowering the valuations of properties, which in turn reduced the taxes owed for the buildings. All of the 18 eventually pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan except for one, who died before his case was resolved. No building owners were charged, though the addresses of some of the properties involved became public. Trump’s buildings were not on that list. No evidence has emerged that Donald Trump personally knew of or participated in the a...

37 MINMAR 12
Comments
Trump’s Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say

The Family Business

This episode of Trump, Inc. was originally released on September 18, 2019. We’ll be back next week with a new episode of Trump, Inc. We've done dozens of episodes over since Donald Trump took office, detailing how predatory lenders are paying the president, how Trump has profited from his own inauguration and how Trump's friends have sought to use their access in pursuit of profit. We've noticed something along the way. It's not just that the president has mixed his business and governing. It's that the way Trump does business is spreading across the government. Trump's company isn't like most big businesses. It is accountable to only one man, it has broken the rules, and those promoting it have long engaged in what Trump has dubbed, ahem, "truthful hyperbole." Those traits are now popping up in the government. It may seem like the news from Washington is a cacophony of scandals. But they fit clear patterns — patterns that Trump has brought with him from his business.

34 MINMAR 5
Comments
The Family Business

Latest Episodes

Trump Team Online

This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations. Donald Trump is famous — and infamous — for his use of Twitter and Facebook. But particularly since the pandemic forced him to largely swear off his favorite mass, in-person rallies, his campaign has been amping up the use of another form of alternative media: YouTube and podcasts. The president’s most recent sit-down interview? As it happens, it occurred last week on “Triggered,” a YouTube program hosted by his namesake son. In a conversation in the White House’s map room, Trump Jr. quizzed his dad about everything from who his favorite child is to whether aliens exist — to a Fox News report that Osama bin Laden wanted to assassinate President Barack Obama so that Joe Biden would ascend to the presidency. This was no ordinary campaign video, nor was it a random question, this week’s episode of “Trump, Inc.” makes clear. “Triggered” followed the exchange about bin Laden with a campaign ad that repeated the same point, showing how closely the program’s conversations are tied in with campaign talking points. “Trump, Inc.” explores the Trump campaign’s universe of podcasts and YouTube shows, which has expanded since the coronavirus began locking down huge swaths of the country. (The campaign did not respond to requests for comment.) Sure, every major candidate has a podcast. Hillary Clinton had one. Biden has one, though it hasn’t been updated since mid-May. But unlike those dutiful and largely ignored offerings, “Triggered” is part of a growing constellation of shows. There’s the campaign’s official podcast, hosted by Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara. (Kayleigh McEnany used to fill in occasionally as host before being promoted to White House press secretary.) And there’s “The Right View.” Just imagine “The View,” conducted entirely on Zoom, if Meghan McCain was considered too liberal to be on the panel and if no one ever disagreed. The programs have combined to create something of a Trump media network, one that takes the president’s bellicose messaging and transports it to an environment of family, friendship and banter. People are starting to pay attention. Nightly programming of the unofficial Trump Network reaches upward of a million viewers each week. It’s a realm dedicated to reinforcing even the president’s most incendiary ideas — with no pushback, skepticism or difference of opinion. To learn more about how the programs lay out their views of everything from bin Laden assassination plots to the controversy over vote by mail, listen to this week’s episode of “Trump, Inc.”

22 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Trump Team Online

The Watchdogs

This story was co-published with ProPublica.Sign up foremail updates from Trump, Inc.to get the latest onourinvestigations. When Congress was considering passing the more than $2 trillion coronavirus bailout two months ago, President Donald Trump made his vision for oversight clear. “I’ll be the oversight,” he said. The CARES Act empowers a number of different offices to make sure the money is spent wisely and without favoritism. Shortly after he signed it into law, Trump ousted the inspector general who was slated to lead the oversight — one of five watchdogs the president has purged in less than two months. Trump also issued a signing statement asserting that he can ignore oversight provisions of the bailout law and that Congress does not have to be consulted. “My Administration will treat this provision as hortatory but not mandatory,” he wrote. We spoke to an official just hired to do one of the jobs Trump cited in his signing statement. She told us that Trump’s moves hav...

42 MINJUN 11
Comments
The Watchdogs

New Questions for Trump’s Biggest Lenders

This story was co-published with ProPublica.Our reportingon President Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bankwas originally published in May 2019. A decade ago, loan filings showed Trump Tower in New York City had a reported profit of about $13.3 million. But when the tower refinanced its debt soon after, the profits for the same year — 2010 — somehow appeared higher. A new lender listed the profits as $16.1 million, or 21% more than they had been recorded previously. The next year’s earnings for the building also “improved” between the two filings. Profits for 2011 were listed as 12% higher under the new loan than the old, according to reports by loan servicers and data provider Trepp. ProPublica uncovered the Trump Tower discrepancies by examining publicly available data for mortgages that are packaged into securities known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, comparing the same years in reports for different CMBS. If a bank had held onto the loan, instead of selling it to investors, such information would have been kept private. No evidence has emerged that the Trump Organization was involved in changing the profit figures. Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, said: “Not only were the numbers provided to the servicer accurate, but Trump Tower is considered one of the most underleveraged commercial buildings around.” The discrepancies in the tower profits match a pattern described in a whistleblower complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which ProPublica revealed this month. The complaint accuses commercial lenders of fraudulently inflating the income numbers underlying loans in many CMBS. The complaint named seven servicers and 14 lenders, including two of the country’s biggest issuers of CMBS — Ladder Capital and Wells Fargo. Both were involved in the more recent Trump Tower loan, one as the lender, the second as the financial institution that packaged the loan into a CMBS. The complaint does not say which entities altered specific numbers and does not address whether borrowers were involved in, or knew about, the alleged fraud. Wells Fargo declined to comment. Ladder Capital did not respond to questions about Trump’s signature Fifth Avenue tower. Ladder did respond to questions for ProPublica’s earlier article; it acknowledged it had altered historical numbers for two other loans ProPublica asked about, to remove expenses that were not recurring in the future. The lender said its actions were appropriate. (Ladder is a publicly traded commercial real estate investment trust with more than $6 billion in assets. It employs Jack Weisselberg, the son of the Trump Organization’s longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, as an executive director whose job is to make loans. Jack Weisselberg declined to comment.) When the Trump Organization refinanced its loan for Trump Tower in 2012, it increased the size of its loan from $27.5 million to $100 million, extracting $67.9 million in cash. The interest-only loan originally represented about 8% of the more than $1 billion in mortgages assembled into the CMBS. (Only the commercial part of the tower — with retail tenants such as Gucci and offices, including for the Trump Organization — served as collateral for the loan.) For both 2010 and 2011, data shows the discrepancies in net operating income between the old and new loans for Trump Tower were largely due to the new loan reporting lower expenses. The prospectus for the more recent loan stated that “the historical expenses exclude security associated with Donald J. Trump’s personal services” — though it did not specify dollar amounts for the change. Greater revenues were cited for both years under the new loan, too, but the prospectus did not explain why. The whistleblower complaint, filed by a CMBS-industry insider named John Flynn, concerns the nearly $600 billion CMBS market. It accuses lenders and servicers of manipulating historical cash flows, failing to report misrepresentations

50 MINMAY 28
Comments
New Questions for Trump’s Biggest Lenders

Temporary Presidential Immunity

This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up foremail updates from Trump, Inc.to get the latest onourinvestigations. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday, via teleconference, about the power to investigate the president. President Donald Trump has objected to subpoenas for his tax returns and other financial records. New York City prosecutors have demanded the documents as part of a criminal investigation into the president’s hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, while the House of Representatives has been seeking to investigate the conflicts of interests of a president who still owns a sprawling business. Trump’s lawyers have argued that a president shouldn’t be subject to investigation while in office. “We're asking for temporary presidential immunity,” attorney Jay Sekulow said. Andrea Bernstein of Trump, Inc. and NYU law professor Melissa Murray listened to the oral arguments and chatted with co-host Ilya Marritz about what struck them. A ...

30 MINMAY 14
Comments
Temporary Presidential Immunity

The Accountants

On May 12, after a six-week delay caused by the pandemic, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the epic battle by congressional committees and New York prosecutors to pry loose eight years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Much about the case is without precedent. Oral arguments will be publicly broadcast on live audio. The nine justices and opposing lawyers will debate the issues remotely, from their offices and homes. And the central question is extraordinary: Is the president of the United States immune from congressional — and even criminal — investigation? The arguments concern whether Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, must hand over his tax returns and other records to a House committee and the Manhattan district attorney, which have separately subpoenaed them. (There will also be arguments on congressional subpoenas to two of Trump’s banks.) Trump’s accountants have been crucial enablers in his remarkable rise. And like their marquee client, they have...

37 MINMAY 7
Comments
The Accountants

He Went To Jared

On April 2, Jared Kushner uncharacteristically took to the podium to speak at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing. He’d been given the task, he said, of assisting Vice President Mike Pence’s Coronavirus Task Force with supply chain issues. “The president,” Kushner said, “wanted us to make sure we think outside the box, make sure we’re finding all the best thinkers in the country, making sure we’re getting all the best ideas, and that we’re doing everything possible to make sure that we can keep Americans safe.” That very day, he said, President Donald Trump told him that “he was hearing from friends of his in New York that the New York public hospital system was running low on critical supply.” So Kushner called Dr. Mitchell Katz, who runs the 12-hospital system, which serves, in a normal year, over a million patients. Kushner said he’d asked Katz which supply he was most nervous about: “He told me it was the N95 masks. I asked what his daily burn was. And I basically got that number.” In a chaotic environment, the New Jersey boy turned Manhattan businessman turned senior White House adviser is using his clout to help the cities and states at the epicenter of a global pandemic get the aid they need. Yet there’s another side to the equation. Kushner’s role is also a symptom of the dysfunction of the Trump administration, according to critics, some of whom worked in emergency management under Republican and Democratic administrations. The ad hoc nature of Kushner’s mission and its lack of transparency make it hard for people — and government agencies — to know exactly what he’s doing. So far, those officials say, there's little sign Kushner or anyone at the White House is helping New York or New Jersey with their urgent longer-term needs, particularly more testing and billions from Congress to ease the gaping holes that have emerged in local budgets. ”If you can reach Jared, if you can applaud Jared, if you can convince him that you're the most needy, he will deliver for you,” said Juliette Kayyem, faculty chair of the homeland security project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former assistant secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration. But his role bypasses long-held tenets of how the federal government should work in a national emergency, she said, without addressing systemic problems, much less reinventing the bureaucracy. “What's outside the box? What process is outside the box? It can't possibly be Kushner's [giving out his] cellphone number,” Kayyem said. “But that's what it appears to be.” Read the text version of this story at ProPublica. Related episodes:• Dirt• How Trump Is Eligible For A Coronavirus Rescue• What To Look Out For

33 MINAPR 23
Comments
He Went To Jared

How Trump Is Eligible for a Coronavirus Rescue

In a late March press briefing on the coronavirus, President Trump turned the microphone over to Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of a company called MyPillow. Lindell — a regular on Fox News and at Trump properties, and a high-dollar donor to Republican causes — talked about how his company was pivoting from pillows to protective masks — and effusively praised the president's leadership. We've been thinking about who stands to benefit from the coronavirus bailout, and that unusual moment highlights the close links between Trump and allies who stands to benefit (often in more ways than just publicity) from the government response to the pandemic.On this episode of the show we're examining: •How the Trump family business qualifies for the two trillion dollar bailout•How businesses close to Trump are getting regulatory rollbacks and other long-sought goals•And what kind of oversight we should be expect in this new and uncertain era Check outreporter Meg Cramer's story about how...

30 MINAPR 9
Comments
How Trump Is Eligible for a Coronavirus Rescue

What To Look Out For

The “Trump, Inc.” podcast has long explored how people have tried to benefit through their proximity to the Oval Office. And we'regoing to continue digging into that as the Trump administration is tasked with rolling out more than $2 trillion in bailout money. We spoke to two people this week to help us understand the stakes. “Some policymakers sitting in the Treasury Department or some other government agency have this awesome power to say, ‘You get the money, you go out of business,.’” said Neil Barofsky, who served as the government’s watchdog for the 2008 bank bailout. “One of the most important things we can do is make sure that power is exercised fairly, consistently, and, most importantly, consistent with the policy goals that underlie this extraordinary outpouring of taxpayer money.” We also spoke with journalist Sarah Chayes, a former NPR correspondent who has reported on corruption and cronyism in countries experiencing economic shock. She said powerful players often “take advantage of adversity and uncertainty to enrich themselves.” But Chayes also described something else. She coined it “disaster solidarity.” That’s when there’s so much suffering, so much adversity, “that people's tolerance for selfish, hogging, me-first behavior is really low.” And that’s where you come in. We want your help to dig into the coming bailout. If you know something, please tell us. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. for the latest onWNYC and ProPublica's investigations.

22 MINMAR 28
Comments
What To Look Out For

Trump’s Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say

The Trump Organization paid bribes, through middlemen, to New York City tax assessors to lower its property tax bills for several Manhattan buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, according to five former tax assessors and city employees as well as a former Trump Organization employee. Two of the five city employees said they personally took bribes to lower the assessment on a Trump property; the other three said they had indirect knowledge of the payments. The city employees were among 18 indicted in 2002 for taking bribes in exchange for lowering the valuations of properties, which in turn reduced the taxes owed for the buildings. All of the 18 eventually pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan except for one, who died before his case was resolved. No building owners were charged, though the addresses of some of the properties involved became public. Trump’s buildings were not on that list. No evidence has emerged that Donald Trump personally knew of or participated in the a...

37 MINMAR 12
Comments
Trump’s Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say

The Family Business

This episode of Trump, Inc. was originally released on September 18, 2019. We’ll be back next week with a new episode of Trump, Inc. We've done dozens of episodes over since Donald Trump took office, detailing how predatory lenders are paying the president, how Trump has profited from his own inauguration and how Trump's friends have sought to use their access in pursuit of profit. We've noticed something along the way. It's not just that the president has mixed his business and governing. It's that the way Trump does business is spreading across the government. Trump's company isn't like most big businesses. It is accountable to only one man, it has broken the rules, and those promoting it have long engaged in what Trump has dubbed, ahem, "truthful hyperbole." Those traits are now popping up in the government. It may seem like the news from Washington is a cacophony of scandals. But they fit clear patterns — patterns that Trump has brought with him from his business.

34 MINMAR 5
Comments
The Family Business
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