NYT: Firms owned by Republican Trump hold massive debt | News | DW | 20.08.2016
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NYT: Firms owned by Republican Trump hold massive debt

Companies belonging to Donald Trump hold at least $650 million in debt. That's more than twice the amount shown in public filings made by his presidential campaign, "The New York Times" reports.

Companies owned by Donald Trump are liable for debt exceeding the equivalent of 570 million euros, "The New York Times" reports. The newspaper employed a firm to search public data on more than 30 US properties connected to the Republican presidential candidate.

In addition to the $650 million, "a substantial portion of his wealth is tied up in three passive partnerships that owe an additional $2 billion to a string of lenders." The debt "underscored how much of Mr. Trump's business remains shrouded in mystery."

Filings by Trump's campaign claimed that his businesses owed $315 million. That appeared accurate, the Times reported, and he had no legal obligation to disclose all business debt.

The tycoon cites a superlatively successful real estate record and personal wealth of over $10 billion to make the case for his business acumen as his major qualification for the US presidency. However, Trump has dismissed mounting pressure, even from fellow Republicans, to disclose his tax returns or allow an independent valuation of his assets. The Times noted that the presidency would enable Trump to make decisions that could have major influences on his business empire and net worth.

'New, like Trump?'

On Saturday, Trump met with Latino elected officials, businesspeople and faith leaders. The National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump intends to help Trump focus his message after alienating Latinos over and over with racist statements, such as his assertion that migrants from Mexico are "rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." He has also vowed to deport all of the estimated 11 million people living in the United States without authorization.

As part of his rebranding, Trump has also worked to boost his appeal with African-American voters. With polls showing that Trump has next to zero support from black voters, the Republican nominee attempted a new pitch to them: "What the hell do you have to lose?"

"Look how much African-American communities are suffering under Democratic control," Trump, addressing black voters but speaking to a nearly all-white audience, said on Friday. "To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?"

"You're living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs."

Though African-Americans have overwhelmingly voted for Democrats since the 1950s, Trump's presidential bid has reached new lows. Polls taken since last month's party conventions show him with only 1-2 percent support among black voters. In Friday's speech, Trump promised that if he won in November he would receive "over 95 percent of the African-American vote" when he runs for re-election in 2020.

mkg/se (AFP, dpa, AP)

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