President Trump, Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump discussed on The Takeaway
That Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes such is trying to be listed amongst the wealthiest people in Forbes and deflated his assets to reduce is real estate taxes. And in his opening remarks. Michael Cohen, literally brought the receipts copies of financial statements from twenty eleven twenty twelve and twenty thirteen that he gave to such institutions such as Deutsche Bank. The documents are summary of Trump's net worth categorizing assets, including cash and properties and liabilities in two thousand thirteen those documents show Trump's net worth nearly doubling thanks to a new four billion dollar line item attributed to something known as brand value. This information provided us inflate the president's asset. I believe these numbers are inflated under questioning you just heard from Representative lacy clay of Missouri. Michael Cohen said Donald Trump lied about how much money he had when it suited his interests president ever provide inflated assets to a Bank in order to help him obtain alone. These documents and others were provided to. Deutsche Bank on one occasion, where I was with them our attempt to obtain money so that we can debate on the Buffalo Bills. But this is not the first time deutchebanks involvement in lending to Donald Trump has come to the attention of congress. In fact, last month, the house intelligence and financial services committees launched an investigation into the president's dealings with the German financial giant. So what is the house looking for? And what does Michael Collins testimony reveal about deutchebanks relationship with President Trump? That's where we begin today. This is the takeaway, I'm tansy Nevada, and I'm joined now by two journalists who've been covering Deutsche Bank and its relationship with President Trump closely Jenny Strasbourg is a senior correspondent for European finance at the Wall Street Journal, welcome to the takeaway, Jenny. Thank you, very much and David enrich is finance editor at the New York Times. And he's writing a book on deutchebanks and Trump perfect timing. David welcome to the takeaway. Thank you, Jenny. Let's start with you for those of us here who are less familiar with Deutsche Bank and give us who are they and what is their presence in the United States? Sure. So they've been around for since the late eighteen hundreds started as a German Bank to serve German corporates. And really they came onto the scene in the United States with their deal in nineteen ninety eight to by Bankers Trust, which put them on the Wall Street radar and with and with that grew their aspirations to take. On the likes of Goldman Sachs and Bank of America and the big investment banks. And then that became the source of many a regulatory issue for the Bank, particularly during and since the financial crisis. And it's no exaggeration to say that they're they're future has become a huge question, Mark. But the Trump topic has is front and center there, obviously. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, this David let's talk a little bit about that. You're literally writing the book on this. How far back does President Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank? Oh, it goes back. It really starts in earnest in the late ninety s around the time as Jenny said that deutchebanks developed these really strong aspirations to be a proper US investment Bank compete with Wall Street and Deutsche Bank, reviewed Donald Trump as the perfect type of person to do business with because he was a guy who had defaulted on. His debts to other banks and therefore other banks weren't willing to take the risk of doing business with him Deutsche Bank needed a foothold in the United States. And so it needed to do business with people and with institutions that other banks were not willing to touch with a ten foot pole Donald Trump fit perfectly and off to the races. They went David do. We have any sense of how much money Trump has borrowed so far from Deutsche Bank, and whether any of that is still outstanding. And Trump over the years over the twenty years between one thousand nine hundred eighty eight and now borrowed well over two billion dollars. That's billion with a b billion with a beauty huge number, especially given what we know about the limited amount. We know about Trump's net worth which is he says, he's a billionaire that's far from clear that is actually true. So the fact that he's borrowed over fifteen or twenty years billions of dollars from Deutsche Bank is extraordinary currently allowed that's been repaid or in some cases defaulted on by Trump. So it's not still outstanding. As of the time he entered the White House, though, he still owed more than three hundred million dollars to make. It was his biggest creditor, and that's really really extraordinary thing to think about the president of the United States is deeply deeply in debt to a foreign institution, Jenny. I wanna bring you back in here because we're talking about Deutsche Bank today mostly because of Michael Collins testimony yesterday yesterday, he supplied records, outlining President Trump's efforts to secure a loan from Deutsche Bank from twenty eleven to two thousand thirteen Michael Cohen said that this loan was part of a failed effort to buy the Buffalo Bills are to buy a share in the bills. Ginny would Deutsche Bank have known that President Trump's statements had been inflated as Michael Collins suggested in his testimony yesterday. Well, I mean, it was certainly dramatic and exciting to hear from an in a longtime insider, we covered a secret deposition in the lawsuit in two thousand seven that where Trump admit acknowledged, the he was no stranger to inflating his property values. Said and I'll quote from our article, I think everybody does who wouldn't now this is a private deposition, and he said even verbally he inflates, the value of properties in general, not beyond reason. So this is not the first time. This topic has come up and this also came up quite a bit in the testimony with Cohen yesterday. The House Financial Services committee is potentially going to investigate this. Now that there's a democratic majority your thoughts. David, well, I think the holy grail here for investigators in congress in for many of us in the media is the Russia connection and as Jenny said Deutsche Bank has gotten a lot of trouble for money laundering for Russians. What investigators journalists like me and Jenny wants to know is is Deutsche Bank, the nexus between Donald Trump and Russia did money from Russia. Go to go to Donald Trump by way of Deutsche Bank. We don't know the answer to that yet. Journalists have been trying for years to figure that out, but we do not have subpoena power House Democrats now do and so I think we're going to get some. Answers. So David we just mentioned the potential for a house investigation. I'm wondering if you can tell us what threads you think they will follow. I think the big thread is whether Deutsche Bank has been a channel for money to elicit come to Donald Trump over the years from Russia. And the reason this is interesting is that Deutsche Bank for many years was a pioneer of lending in Russia and of building relationships with large Putin connected, Kremlin, connected, banks. And so the rumor that is circulated for a couple of years. Now is that part of the reason to the Bank was willing to take such risks and lend to Donald Trump, and no one else would is that someone in Russia or something in Russia was providing them some sort of protection against the risk of Trump default in and that's unproven. It's unconfirmed. God knows I've been trying and I know Jenny has been too, and we just don't know if it's true. But there's a lot of the questions that people like, Maxine. Waters who's the chairman of the House Financial Services committee and Adam Schiff, who's the chairman of house intelligence have been asking mega quite clear that this is exactly what they're going for. And or at least one of the things that they're gunning for and I don't know what they're going to find. But they have a much better chance of finding that out with subpoena power. And with some of the really serious investigators have they've brought on recently than mere mortals lake me, David enriches finance editor at the New York Times working on a book about deutchebanks and Trump and Jenny Strasbourg is senior correspondent for European finance for the Wall Street Journal. Thanks to you both. Thank you so much, and we should add we reached out to Deutsche Bank for comment on its lending to.