After watching Maddow drop part of Trump’s 2005 tax returns on MSNBC last night, many people (oddly) panned the leak and Maddow’s “big reveal.” I find this criticism absurd, because if anything it points out (factually) that three big Trump claims are totally fraudulent:
- He’s very unlikely a billionaire. He’s made $150 million in income, paid $38 million in taxes with a massive write off for debt losses on depreciated value of property. There’s no possible way, after multiple bankruptcies, that Trump is worth multiple billions as he claims. He would need to show proof of that.
- He’s not in this for the average person. He has expressed his desire to abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax, which cost him over $30 million in taxes in 2005. Without the AMT, he would have paid less than $10 million dollars in taxes, a rate of less than 10 percent.
- His income comes from his many properties and businesses. This one is a little bit less clear than the first two. But without showing the schedules in his tax returns, we have no friggin’ clue where he gets his income, it could be from foreign money.
Maddow also went into detail about Trump’s many sketchy foreign business connections, that include individuals tied to holders of Trump’s debt and how they’re connected to foreign financial entities and individuals who are sanctioned by the United States.
This isn’t out of character for Trump because this isn’t the first time that Trump has operated in the company of a large number of shady people. When he was running casinos in Atlantic City in the 1980s, he was heavily connected to the mob and when those casinos failed and he had a series of bankruptcies in the 1990s, he was bailed out by the Russian mob. His son admitted in 2008 that Russian money is a heavy portion of the Trump Organization’s assets. His business did business with individuals tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard just three years ago.
I have a theory about the Trump Organization: it is a money laundering front for a syndicate. I’m not offering proof of this, because I don’t have it. But I don’t have any other explanation for all of the dubious, foreign investment into Trump’s failed business. His income could very well be commission kickbacks for having his properties serve as a money laundering front.
I hope we get more information on his tax returns and I hope we get it soon.