Donald Trump, a floating turd, finally started acknowledging the absolute devastation in Puerto Rico on Monday night, mainly by calling attention to the island’s debt, as though Hurricane Maria was just trying to collect. In his tweets, Trump neglected to mention how he has contributed to that debt to the tune of $30 million.
According to PolitiFact Florida (via Death and Taxes), the Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico—a golf club he licensed his name to and allegedly “managed”—defaulted on millions of government-backed bonds in 2015. Keep that in mind as you read his tweets, which cite “billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks” (whose predation, incidentally, is one reason the debt exists to begin with):
As Politifact reports, the club was already in bad shape before the Trumps got involved, losing a combined $12 million from 2007-2008, hit hard by the recession and poor management. Trump joined the enterprise in 2008, promising to turn things around. He didn’t. In 2011, the club acquired more bonds to pay back previous bonds. The golf course filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Politifact reports that taxpayers footed its bill:
The Puerto Rico Tourism Development Fund, which provided project financing in 2000 and 2004, filed a claim in bankruptcy court for $32.7 million. The fund is paid for with tax dollars.
BuzzFeed News reports that the Trump family/brand has tried to distance itself from the failure of the club and those loans, with Eric Trump insisting that putting Trump’s name on it was simply a licensing agreement, and that they solely managed the golf course. That’s not entirely untrue, but Trump collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for that licensing and management. Eric Trump also filed a bankruptcy claim for $927,000 for unpaid fees related to the club.
In related news, Trump announced he will be visiting the island for the first time next Tuesday—a week from today—according to CNN:
“I know many Puerto Ricans, and they’re great people and we have to help them. It really was devastated. Some people say, I read it this morning, it’s literally destroyed,” he[Trump] said, adding, “The infrastructure was in bad shape as you know in Puerto Rico before the storm, and now in many cases, it has no infrastructure, so it’s, you’re really starting from almost scratch.”
He also patted himself on the back for efforts being made to aid American citizens, because unlike Houston, FEMA and other disaster relief organizations need to travel further to help.
It’s very tough because it’s an island. In Texas, we can ship the trucks right out there, you know, we’ve got A-pluses on Texas and Florida and we will also on Puerto Rico, but the difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean, and it’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean, and I think we’re doing a really good job.”