So it is easy to imagine how ambitious businessmen with ties to Trump-friendly autocrats might try to help with his financial dilemma.
The Times stories are full of disturbing examples, as Trump Organization hotels and clubs draw lobbyists from countries led by strongmen.
Turkish businessman Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, who helped negotiate a licensing deal in 2008 for two Trump Towers in Istanbul, now lobbies on behalf of Turkish interests in Washington. Turkish business groups schedule events in Trump’s Washington hotel and Turkish airlines host an event at the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Virginia.
Credit card receipts reported to the IRS “reflect the way certain of (Trump’s) resorts, golf courses and hotels became favored stomping grounds, if not venues for influence-trading, beginning in 2015,” writes the Times.
This sleaziness becomes even more disturbing given Trump’s staggering debts that would come due during a second Trump term.
A hefty chunk of his personal debt is held by Deutsche Bank, which developed a reputation as a laundromat for Russian dark money. The bank kept making loans to Trump when other banks wouldn’t touch him due to his history of defaults. Its personal banker to Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner is now under internal investigation.
If Trump stays in the White House, it may be more politically tricky for Deutsche Bank to call in the loans. On the other hand, the bank may feel the need to rescue its already battered reputation.