The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Donald Trump has his own skeletons to worry about

Donald Trump at a press conference announcing ...Image via Wikipedia
Donald Trump latching on to the Obama birther issue and his demand see the President's academic records, is a tribute to the idiocy that politics can sink to. There are certainly important issues he could be challenging Obama on that have great importance, such as the economy or foreign affairs. But the most interesting part of Trump launching these attacks is that Trump is a man with a closet full of skeletons himself.

Lets start with Trump's ability to stay out of the draft during the Vietnam war. Trump claims his unusually high draft number was the reason he was never called to duty. That indeed is part of the reason, but the Donald left out something. The Smoking Gun reports that Selective Service records show received a series of student deferments while in college and then with a medical deferment after graduation.

During a TV interview Trump said, "I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number. I’ll never forget, that was an amazing period of time in my life. I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to.” No mention of those helpful deferments and as well his time frame is somewhat out of whack.

From the Smoking Gun:

"By the time his number (356) was drawn during the December 1, 1969 draft lottery, Trump had already received four student deferments and a medical deferment, according to military records on file with the National Archives and Records Administration. An extract of Trump’s Selective Classification record, seen here, was provided in response to a TSG records request.

In fact, the December 1969 draft lottery occurred about 18 months after Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied business at the Wharton School. So, while claiming that he would “never forget” being at Wharton watching the draft numbers being drawn, the 64-year-old Trump seems to have misremembered, as candidates are fond of saying."

Another Trump skeleton that has haunted the self-proclaimed billionaire is the question of his actual net worth. Forbes has annually ranked him among the 400 richest people in the country.

His wealth began with his father, Fred Trump,a Scottish immigrant was the largest apartment building owner in New York City. Atthe time of his death in 1999, Trump had amassed a $400 million estate fortune, left largely to his children,

Recently, Trump told CNN that his net worth is "many, many, many times Mitt Romney," apparently making him a better-suited presidential contender.
"Forbes says $2.7 billion. I can tell you that's a very low number. It's much more than that."

Because many of Trumps companies are private and his finances are tangled in complicated licensing deals, his actual worth is difficult to determine.

Trump promised to release his income tax records if President Obama released his long form birth certificate. Obama released his certificate, but Trump has yet to make public his tax records.

In his book "TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald," Timothy O'Brien, a former reporter at the New York Times, pegged Trumps wealth at between $150 million and $250 million. He attributed the figures to people with direct knowledge of Trump's finances. "None of these people thought that he was remotely close to being a billionaire," O'Brien wrote.

Trump sued O'Brien and his publisher for libel and the case was dismissed. Trump has appealed and a decision is pending.

Here is a partical transcript of Trump sparing with O'Brien's lawyer Andrew Ceresney, during a deposition concerning his wealth:

Trump: My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with the markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings, but I try.

Ceresney: Let me just understand that a little. You said your net worth goes up and down based upon your own feelings?

Trump: Yes, even my own feelings, as to where the world is, where the world is going, and that can change rapidly from day to day ...

Ceresney: When you publicly state a net worth number, what do you base that number on?

Trump: I would say it's my general attitude at the time that the question may be asked. And as I say, it varies.

Ceresney:  Reading from O'Brien's book: "Donald owns 40 Wall Street, which he spent about $35 million to buy and refurbish in 1996. The building has about $145 million in debt attached to it, and New York City assessors value it at $90 million. Donald values it at $400 million."

Trump: "Anybody would understand that a city assessment is 15 and 20 percent the value of a building."

Questioned about the return on his investment from several golf courses, Trump said he 'does his own math.'

Ceresney: Have you ever done a projection as to how much you anticipate you will profit on these courses over time in light of the contributions that you're making in cash?

Trump: Yes, I've done mental projections.

Ceresney: Mental projections?

Trump: Yes.

Ceresney: These are projections that you've done in your head?

Trump: Yes.

(Read more on this case on Yahoo. )

I'm left wondering if the IRS would accept the  "mental projections" that the Donald alludes to. We do know that he makes a considerable sum fromhis reality TV shows. My advise to the Donald is this: Stick to reality TV,  because the reality is not sticking.


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