Trump, Inc. He's the President, yet we're still trying to answer basic questions about how his business works: What deals are happening, who they're happening with, and if the President and his family are keeping their promise to separate the Trump Organization from the Trump White House. "Trump, Inc." is a joint reporting project from WNYC Studios and ProPublica that digs deep into those questions. We'll be laying out what we know, what we don't, and how you can help us fill in the gaps. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics Radio, Death, Sex & Money, On the Media and many more. ProPublica is a nonprofit, investigative newsroom.
Trump, Inc.

Trump, Inc.

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He's the President, yet we're still trying to answer basic questions about how his business works: What deals are happening, who they're happening with, and if the President and his family are keeping their promise to separate the Trump Organization from the Trump White House. "Trump, Inc." is a joint reporting project from WNYC Studios and ProPublica that digs deep into those questions. We'll be laying out what we know, what we don't, and how you can help us fill in the gaps. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Freakonomics Radio, Death, Sex & Money, On the Media and many more. ProPublica is a nonprofit, investigative newsroom.

Most Recent Episodes

Trump Team Online

This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations. Donald Trump is famous — and infamous — for his use of Twitter and Facebook. But particularly since the pandemic forced him to largely swear off his favorite mass, in-person rallies, his campaign has been amping up the use of another form of alternative media: YouTube and podcasts. The president's most recent sit-down interview? As it happens, it occurred last week on "Triggered," a YouTube program hosted by his namesake son. In a conversation in the White House's map room, Trump Jr. quizzed his dad about everything from who his favorite child is to whether aliens exist — to a Fox News report that Osama bin Laden wanted to assassinate President Barack Obama so that Joe Biden would ascend to the presidency. This was no ordinary campaign video, nor was it a random question, this week's episode of "Trump, Inc." makes clear. "Triggered" followed the exchange about bin Laden with a campaign ad that repeated the same point, showing how closely the program's conversations are tied in with campaign talking points. "Trump, Inc." explores the Trump campaign's universe of podcasts and YouTube shows, which has expanded since the coronavirus began locking down huge swaths of the country. (The campaign did not respond to requests for comment.) Sure, every major candidate has a podcast. Hillary Clinton had one. Biden has one, though it hasn't been updated since mid-May. But unlike those dutiful and largely ignored offerings, "Triggered" is part of a growing constellation of shows. There's the campaign's official podcast, hosted by Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara. (Kayleigh McEnany used to fill in occasionally as host before being promoted to White House press secretary.) And there's "The Right View." Just imagine "The View," conducted entirely on Zoom, if Meghan McCain was considered too liberal to be on the panel and if no one ever disagreed. The programs have combined to create something of a Trump media network, one that takes the president's bellicose messaging and transports it to an environment of family, friendship and banter. People are starting to pay attention. Nightly programming of the unofficial Trump Network reaches upward of a million viewers each week. It's a realm dedicated to reinforcing even the president's most incendiary ideas — with no pushback, skepticism or difference of opinion. To learn more about how the programs lay out their views of everything from bin Laden assassination plots to the controversy over vote by mail, listen to this week's episode of "Trump, Inc."

The Watchdogs

This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations. When Congress was considering passing the more than $2 trillion coronavirus bailout two months ago, President Donald Trump made his vision for oversight clear. "I'll be the oversight," he said. The CARES Act empowers a number of different offices to make sure the money is spent wisely and without favoritism. Shortly after he signed it into law, Trump ousted the inspector general who was slated to lead the oversight — one of five watchdogs the president has purged in less than two months. Trump also issued a signing statement asserting that he can ignore oversight provisions of the bailout law and that Congress does not have to be consulted. "My Administration will treat this provision as hortatory but not mandatory," he wrote. We spoke to an official just hired to do one of the jobs Trump cited in his signing statement. She told us that Trump's moves have made her particularly careful to avoid any "adverse" comments about the administration. Linda Miller began work this week as the deputy executive director of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, or PRAC. Miller spent a decade at the nonpartisan, independent Government Accountability Office, where she dug into the case of a crooked Navy contractor nicknamed Fat Leonard. She said she's learned that corruption often starts at the top. Here is an edited transcript of our conversation with Miller. She spoke with "Trump, Inc." co-host Ilya Marritz a few days before formally joining the PRAC. (Our episode also includes an interview with Bharat Ramamurti, a member of the bailout's congressional watchdog.) Trump, Inc.: You warned my producer when we booked this interview that there are a lot of things that you can't talk about or won't talk about. Just so I know, what are those things? Linda Miller: Uh, anything that would be in any way adverse to the administration is something that I won't be commenting on in any way. Trump, Inc.: What do you mean by "adverse to the administration"? Miller: I can't speak negatively about the president or any of the decisions he's made, particularly when it comes to the IG community. That's the biggest, probably political football around my new role. The IG community is obviously under a lot of stress and scrutiny. There's a lot of politics, and people have been asking me what it's going to be like to go work in the inspector general community. I can speak real broadly. I just won't say anything that's in any way derogatory about the president because, obviously in my role, I need to stay as neutral as possible in order to basically stay in my role, frankly. Trump, Inc.: And that's your judgment, coming into this job. Miller: Right. That's my judgment. Trump, Inc.: I know that your career specialty is detecting risk of fraud. You did this at the Government Accountability Office. You also did it in the private sector. What are some of the frauds that you have uncovered? Miller: My specialty is less in investigating fraud and more in helping organizations prevent fraud from occurring. So, often when a big fraud event occurs, I come in afterwards and help the agency or sometimes the private-sector company think about how they were vulnerable. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the very large Navy scandal, it's affectionately known as the "Fat Leonard" scandal. A contractor who bribed a variety of senior government officials all the way up to admirals, in order to get information that would give him a competitive advantage. That particular scandal was shocking for the scale and the scope. There were bribes involving prostitutes, and meals, and jewelry and all kinds of stuff. And I often use that fraud example when I talk about how fraud manifests itself, and especially when leadership is in any way participatory in it. And I've always found that interesting, that people who otherwise wouldn't accept a bribe or participate in a collusion scheme, when they see other people doing it, and the people that they see doing it are people they respect, they tend to think it may not be so bad. Trump, Inc.: Right. You're saying, if people at the top or near the top do it, everyone else thinks it's OK. Miller: Yup. Exactly. And it's shocking how many fraud schemes are perpetrated by senior leadership of an organization. Often people below them won't question decisions they make because they're in charge. So they've got all this power and using that power, abusing that power, is a really common way that fraud shows up both in government, and in [the] private sector. Trump, Inc.: So we are talking just a few days before you start work as the deputy executive director of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, the PRAC. By the time people hear this, you will be at the PRAC already. How are you thinking about how you're going to do that job? Miller: I'm really excited about the opportunities for this new role. I mean, the PRAC was created by the CARES Act, which is the coronavirus stimulus act. As most people know, there's over $2.4 trillion of federal money that went out in that stimulus bill. And so there's obviously an enormous opportunity for fraud to occur across a variety of ways, programs and benefit programs, different agencies. Trump, Inc.: So what are the main categories of fraud that you're going to look for? Help us think about where things can go wrong. Miller: I would say No. 1 on my list of concerns is identity theft. The biggest difference between the Recovery Act back in 2009 and now is the vast number of breaches that have occurred in the last 12 years. Obviously the [Paycheck] Protection Program has gotten a lot of scrutiny, and we will be looking at a deeper dive into [it]. And then I think another big area that I envision the PRAC playing a role is building out some advanced data analytics capabilities that can look across the different government agencies and really identify patterns, trends, with the aspirational goal of essentially being able to provide indicators and red flags to agencies. Because you know, most of the IG's world is what we call "pay and chase." The money's gone out, and we're trying to go back and get it back. Trump, Inc.: Will you be looking at contracting as well? Miller: Yes, definitely. Obviously when you put this much money out, and opportunities for contractors to gain an advantage over their competitors, they start to engage in a variety of fraudulent activities, including kickbacks and bribery and collusion, and all these sorts of corruption schemes. And friendships between leadership and contracting companies way too often plays a role in who gets a contract. Trump, Inc.: At the beginning of this interview, I was actually kind of surprised you basically said, like, I cannot anger the president. So given that you have this concern about angering the president and knowing that investigations you do, or conclusions you draw, could anger the president, how do you do your job? I mean, see a lot of potential conundrums for you that you might face very, very quickly. Miller: You know, actually, I don't think we're going to get on the wrong side of the president here at the PRAC. I think that what we're really trying to do is go after unscrupulous actors who may have tried to get funding they weren't entitled to. We're going to be looking at the bad guys outside of government. We're going to be looking at the identity theft rings, and we're going to be looking at the everyday bad actor who wants to cash in on a huge government program. And so we're all on the same side here. Trump, Inc.: I understand there are things that you don't want to say, but the president has made it pretty clear that he sees government as a tool to reward allies and punish critics and enemies. Here's this huge pile of money that's going out. It's going out through executive branch agencies. One could imagine any number of scenarios where the president would be unhappy with a bright light being shined on bad things being done in those agencies or laws being broken in those agencies or rules being bent in those agencies. So if and when it comes to that moment, what are you going to do? Miller: You know, the thing I'm being hired to do, and the thing I did for 10 years at GAO: to maintain generally accepted government auditing standards. I'm a big believer in, my mom used to say, "Always keep your side of the street clean." Which really meant, focus on the things you can control. And for me, I've got a mission and I've got a job to do in this role. And I'm really excited and I feel a sense of responsibility. Really, truly, a sense of awesome responsibility to American citizens and American taxpayers to carry that role out. And nothing's going to change about how I will assist and direct our organization in adhering to those standards. And I think that's what the country was founded on. And there's a reason that the inspectors general were created in 1978. And I think the mission is as important now, if not more than it ever has been. Contact Us You can contact us via Signal, WhatsApp or voicemail at 347-244-2134. Here's more about how you can contact us securely. You can always email us at tips@trumpincpodcast.org. And finally, you can use the Postal Service: Trump Inc at ProPublica155 Ave of the Americas, 13th FloorNew York, NY 10013 "Trump, Inc." is a production of WNYC Studios and ProPublica. Support our work by visiting donate.propublica.org or by becoming a supporting member of WNYC. Subscribe here or wherever you get your podcasts.

New Questions for Trump's Biggest Lenders

This story was co-published with ProPublica. Our reporting on President Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank was originally published in May 2019. A decade ago, loan filings showed Trump Tower in New York City had a reported profit of about $13.3 million. But when the tower refinanced its debt soon after, the profits for the same year — 2010 — somehow appeared higher. A new lender listed the profits as $16.1 million, or 21% more than they had been recorded previously. The next year's earnings for the building also "improved" between the two filings. Profits for 2011 were listed as 12% higher under the new loan than the old, according to reports by loan servicers and data provider Trepp. ProPublica uncovered the Trump Tower discrepancies by examining publicly available data for mortgages that are packaged into securities known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, comparing the same years in reports for different CMBS. If a bank had held onto the loan, instead of selling it to investors, such information would have been kept private. No evidence has emerged that the Trump Organization was involved in changing the profit figures. Alan Garten, the Trump Organization's chief legal officer, said: "Not only were the numbers provided to the servicer accurate, but Trump Tower is considered one of the most underleveraged commercial buildings around." The discrepancies in the tower profits match a pattern described in a whistleblower complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which ProPublica revealed this month. The complaint accuses commercial lenders of fraudulently inflating the income numbers underlying loans in many CMBS. The complaint named seven servicers and 14 lenders, including two of the country's biggest issuers of CMBS — Ladder Capital and Wells Fargo. Both were involved in the more recent Trump Tower loan, one as the lender, the second as the financial institution that packaged the loan into a CMBS. The complaint does not say which entities altered specific numbers and does not address whether borrowers were involved in, or knew about, the alleged fraud. Wells Fargo declined to comment. Ladder Capital did not respond to questions about Trump's signature Fifth Avenue tower. Ladder did respond to questions for ProPublica's earlier article; it acknowledged it had altered historical numbers for two other loans ProPublica asked about, to remove expenses that were not recurring in the future. The lender said its actions were appropriate. (Ladder is a publicly traded commercial real estate investment trust with more than $6 billion in assets. It employs Jack Weisselberg, the son of the Trump Organization's longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg, as an executive director whose job is to make loans. Jack Weisselberg declined to comment.) When the Trump Organization refinanced its loan for Trump Tower in 2012, it increased the size of its loan from $27.5 million to $100 million, extracting $67.9 million in cash. The interest-only loan originally represented about 8% of the more than $1 billion in mortgages assembled into the CMBS. (Only the commercial part of the tower — with retail tenants such as Gucci and offices, including for the Trump Organization — served as collateral for the loan.) For both 2010 and 2011, data shows the discrepancies in net operating income between the old and new loans for Trump Tower were largely due to the new loan reporting lower expenses. The prospectus for the more recent loan stated that "the historical expenses exclude security associated with Donald J. Trump's personal services" — though it did not specify dollar amounts for the change. Greater revenues were cited for both years under the new loan, too, but the prospectus did not explain why. The whistleblower complaint, filed by a CMBS-industry insider named John Flynn, concerns the nearly $600 billion CMBS market. It accuses lenders and servicers of manipulating historical cash flows, failing to report misrepresentations, changing names and addresses of properties, and "deceptively and inaccurately" describing loan representations. The complaint asserts that Flynn has found overstatements in $150 billion worth of CMBS since 2013. The misrepresentations allowed properties to qualify for loans they wouldn't have otherwise, Flynn asserts, while leaving investors in the dark. The SEC has not taken any public action in response to Flynn's complaint; the agency declined to comment. Altering past profits without providing an explanation is "highly questionable," John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School and an expert in securities regulation, told ProPublica for its earlier article on CMBS. As hotels, retail and office properties face unprecedented difficulties due to the virus that has shuttered much of the country, Flynn says the manipulations have increased the likelihood and potential severity of a crash. Last year, ProPublica revealed another set of income discrepancies at Trump Tower and other company-owned buildings, ones that seemed to hark to the testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified that Trump would inflate income figures when seeking a loan and deflate the figures when filing taxes. Other Trump Organization properties investigated by ProPublica reported higher profits in the CMBS filings than they did in tax filings. A Trump Organization spokesperson said at the time that "comparing the various reports is comparing apples to oranges" because reporting requirements differ. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations.

Temporary Presidential Immunity

This story was co-published with ProPublica. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on our investigations. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday, via teleconference, about the power to investigate the president. President Donald Trump has objected to subpoenas for his tax returns and other financial records. New York City prosecutors have demanded the documents as part of a criminal investigation into the president's hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, while the House of Representatives has been seeking to investigate the conflicts of interests of a president who still owns a sprawling business. Trump's lawyers have argued that a president shouldn't be subject to investigation while in office. "We're asking for temporary presidential immunity," attorney Jay Sekulow said. Andrea Bernstein of Trump, Inc. and NYU law professor Melissa Murray listened to the oral arguments and chatted with co-host Ilya Marritz about what struck them. A few takeaways: • Fights between the legislative and executive branch are not normally heard in front of the Supreme Court. Congress and the White House have typically negotiated solutions to such disputes. "And the fact that we're in court is because this president hasn't acceded to those norms," Murray said. • A phrase that came up repeatedly: "presidential harassment." It's language that Trump frequently uses on Twitter and his lawyers raised in court. The assertion, Murray said, "has transformed what would be considered, I think in other times, ordinary and essential legislative oversight into what accounts to bullying, harassment and mere partisan politics." • A number of the justices — including the liberal Stephen Breyer — expressed sympathy for the White House's arguments against the House's demands for documents, but they were far more skeptical about the claim that the president is immune from even criminal investigation. "The court seemed not to be amenable to that kind of argument at all," Murray said. The justices are expected to deliver a decision in the cases — Trump v. Mazars, Trump v. Deutsche Bank and Trump v. Vance — this summer. Related reporting:• The Accountants• Trump and Deutsche Bank: It's Complicated• How Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided A Criminal Indictment

The Accountants

On May 12, after a six-week delay caused by the pandemic, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the epic battle by congressional committees and New York prosecutors to pry loose eight years of President Donald Trump's tax returns. Much about the case is without precedent. Oral arguments will be publicly broadcast on live audio. The nine justices and opposing lawyers will debate the issues remotely, from their offices and homes. And the central question is extraordinary: Is the president of the United States immune from congressional — and even criminal — investigation? The arguments concern whether Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, must hand over his tax returns and other records to a House committee and the Manhattan district attorney, which have separately subpoenaed them. (There will also be arguments on congressional subpoenas to two of Trump's banks.) Trump's accountants have been crucial enablers in his remarkable rise. And like their marquee client, they have a surprisingly colorful and tangled story of their own. It's dramatically at odds with the image Trump has presented of his accountants as "one of the most highly respected" big firms, solemnly confirming his numbers after months of careful scrutiny. For starters, it's only technically true to say Trump's accounting work is handled by a large firm. In fact, Trump entrusts his taxes and planning to a tiny, secretive team of CPAs who have operated at various times from humble quarters in Queens and two Long Island office parks. That team, which has had two leaders with back-to-back multidecade terms, has been working for the Trumps since Fred Trump began using the firm back in the 1950s. It was eventually subsumed into Mazars USA, the American arm of a large international firm, through a series of mergers over decades. One theme has been consistent: partners and sometimes the firm itself have faced accusations of fraud, misconduct, and malpractice on multiple occasions, an investigation by ProPublica and WNYC has found. This story was co-published with ProPublica; visit their website to read Peter Elkind's full text story on President Trump's relationship with his accounting firm. Stay up to date with email updates about our investigations into the president's business practices.

He Went To Jared

On April 2, Jared Kushner uncharacteristically took to the podium to speak at the White House's daily coronavirus briefing. He'd been given the task, he said, of assisting Vice President Mike Pence's Coronavirus Task Force with supply chain issues. "The president," Kushner said, "wanted us to make sure we think outside the box, make sure we're finding all the best thinkers in the country, making sure we're getting all the best ideas, and that we're doing everything possible to make sure that we can keep Americans safe." That very day, he said, President Donald Trump told him that "he was hearing from friends of his in New York that the New York public hospital system was running low on critical supply." So Kushner called Dr. Mitchell Katz, who runs the 12-hospital system, which serves, in a normal year, over a million patients. Kushner said he'd asked Katz which supply he was most nervous about: "He told me it was the N95 masks. I asked what his daily burn was. And I basically got that number." In a chaotic environment, the New Jersey boy turned Manhattan businessman turned senior White House adviser is using his clout to help the cities and states at the epicenter of a global pandemic get the aid they need. Yet there's another side to the equation. Kushner's role is also a symptom of the dysfunction of the Trump administration, according to critics, some of whom worked in emergency management under Republican and Democratic administrations. The ad hoc nature of Kushner's mission and its lack of transparency make it hard for people — and government agencies — to know exactly what he's doing. So far, those officials say, there's little sign Kushner or anyone at the White House is helping New York or New Jersey with their urgent longer-term needs, particularly more testing and billions from Congress to ease the gaping holes that have emerged in local budgets. "If you can reach Jared, if you can applaud Jared, if you can convince him that you're the most needy, he will deliver for you," said Juliette Kayyem, faculty chair of the homeland security project at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a former assistant secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration. But his role bypasses long-held tenets of how the federal government should work in a national emergency, she said, without addressing systemic problems, much less reinventing the bureaucracy. "What's outside the box? What process is outside the box? It can't possibly be Kushner's [giving out his] cellphone number," Kayyem said. "But that's what it appears to be." Read the text version of this story at ProPublica. Related episodes:• Dirt• How Trump Is Eligible For A Coronavirus Rescue• What To Look Out For

How Trump Is Eligible for a Coronavirus Rescue

In a late March press briefing on the coronavirus, President Trump turned the microphone over to Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of a company called MyPillow. Lindell — a regular on Fox News and at Trump properties, and a high-dollar donor to Republican causes — talked about how his company was pivoting from pillows to protective masks — and effusively praised the president's leadership. We've been thinking about who stands to benefit from the coronavirus bailout, and that unusual moment highlights the close links between Trump and allies who stands to benefit (often in more ways than just publicity) from the government response to the pandemic. On this episode of the show we're examining: • How the Trump family business qualifies for the two trillion dollar bailout• How businesses close to Trump are getting regulatory rollbacks and other long-sought goals• And what kind of oversight we should be expect in this new and uncertain era Check out reporter Meg Cramer's story about how businesses within the Trump Organization stand to benefit from the coronavirus bailout and Peter Elkind's reporting on how Trump Org properties are responding to the crisis. And visit our tips page to learn how to securely share what you know. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. to get the latest on WNYC and ProPublica's investigations.

What To Look Out For

The "Trump, Inc." podcast has long explored how people have tried to benefit through their proximity to the Oval Office. And we're going to continue digging into that as the Trump administration is tasked with rolling out more than $2 trillion in bailout money. We spoke to two people this week to help us understand the stakes. "Some policymakers sitting in the Treasury Department or some other government agency have this awesome power to say, 'You get the money, you go out of business,.'" said Neil Barofsky, who served as the government's watchdog for the 2008 bank bailout. "One of the most important things we can do is make sure that power is exercised fairly, consistently, and, most importantly, consistent with the policy goals that underlie this extraordinary outpouring of taxpayer money." We also spoke with journalist Sarah Chayes, a former NPR correspondent who has reported on corruption and cronyism in countries experiencing economic shock. She said powerful players often "take advantage of adversity and uncertainty to enrich themselves." But Chayes also described something else. She coined it "disaster solidarity." That's when there's so much suffering, so much adversity, "that people's tolerance for selfish, hogging, me-first behavior is really low." And that's where you come in. We want your help to dig into the coming bailout. If you know something, please tell us. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. for the latest on WNYC and ProPublica's investigations.

Trump's Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say

The Trump Organization paid bribes, through middlemen, to New York City tax assessors to lower its property tax bills for several Manhattan buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, according to five former tax assessors and city employees as well as a former Trump Organization employee. Two of the five city employees said they personally took bribes to lower the assessment on a Trump property; the other three said they had indirect knowledge of the payments. The city employees were among 18 indicted in 2002 for taking bribes in exchange for lowering the valuations of properties, which in turn reduced the taxes owed for the buildings. All of the 18 eventually pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan except for one, who died before his case was resolved. No building owners were charged, though the addresses of some of the properties involved became public. Trump's buildings were not on that list. No evidence has emerged that Donald Trump personally knew of or participated in the alleged bribery. Trump denied any wrongdoing at the time, and the Trump Organization reiterated that position in response to questions for this article. "To be clear, at no time did the Trump Organization or any of its employees or principals ever pay anyone for the purpose of unlawfully obtaining a lower tax valuation," Alan Garten, the Trump Organization's chief legal officer, wrote in a statement. "This was corroborated by multiple investigations which found no evidence of any wrongdoing by the company or any of its principals. ... If anything, the Trump Organization was a victim of the scandal." (Here is the company's full statement.) Read the full print version of this story at ProPublica. Special thanks to former New York Times reporter Charles Bagli, who first reported on the bribery scheme in 2002. Sign up for email updates from Trump, Inc. for the latest on WNYC and ProPublica's investigations Related episodes:• The Numbers Don't Match• Trump's Company Is Suing Towns Across the Country to Get Breaks on Taxes• Pump and Trump

The Family Business

This episode of Trump, Inc. was originally released on September 18, 2019. We'll be back next week with a new episode of Trump, Inc. We've done dozens of episodes over since Donald Trump took office, detailing how predatory lenders are paying the president, how Trump has profited from his own inauguration and how Trump's friends have sought to use their access in pursuit of profit. We've noticed something along the way. It's not just that the president has mixed his business and governing. It's that the way Trump does business is spreading across the government. Trump's company isn't like most big businesses. It is accountable to only one man, it has broken the rules, and those promoting it have long engaged in what Trump has dubbed, ahem, "truthful hyperbole." Those traits are now popping up in the government. It may seem like the news from Washington is a cacophony of scandals. But they fit clear patterns — patterns that Trump has brought with him from his business.

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