August 21, 2016

The NYT goes for balance, with Sunday articles about "Trump's Empire" and the Clinton Foundation.

Let's take a look at that balance. Here's how the articles are stacked up right now on the home page:

Putting the articles together makes an implicit statement that the NYT is applying its investigative powers in a professional journalistic fashion to both candidates and delving into the questions about the nature of their wealth and their financial dealings. Putting the Trump article in larger print and on top conveys the impression that the investigation into him turned up more serious problems.

So does the language used.

The words "Trump's Empire" parallel "Foundation Donor's." It doesn't even say "Clinton Foundation." The name "Clinton" is used in "Clinton's Candidacy," which faces "obstacles." The active characters are the donors, raising obstacles for her candidacy (not even directly for her, but for the abstraction that is her candidacy). See all that distancing? She's essentially the hero of that headline, with a worthy goal and facing obstacles from other characters. Read the finer print too. See how she's the hero? A classic hero is even named: Achilles! And speaking of names, none of the donors are named. You have to click through to find the worrisome list: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Brunei and Algeria.

But Trump has an "empire" — that doesn't sound American — and his empire has "hazy ties" — sounds spurious! — and $650 million in debt. That sounds like a lot of money! No dollar amount is specified in the headline or the squib about the Clinton foundation. The Trump debt is presumably owed to banks as part of a huge, ongoing real estate enterprise, so I don't know what's nefarious about that, but I guess something is "hazy," and it looks like he might have grossly misstated the debt in the federal electing filing, though the use of the word "apparent" — in "nearly twice the amount apparent in his federal election filing" — makes me (a detector of semantic hijinks) suspect semantic hijinks.

So, let's finally click through and see how these 2 stories compare. The one on Hillary is called "Foundation Ties Bedevil Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign." This is by Amy Chozick and Steve Eder.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated more than $10 million. Through a foundation, so did the son-in-law of a former Ukrainian president whose government was widely criticized for corruption and the murder of journalists. A Lebanese-Nigerian developer with vast business interests contributed as much as $5 million.

For years the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation thrived largely on the generosity of foreign donors and individuals who gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the global charity....

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said the Clintons and the foundation had always been careful about donors. “The policies that governed the foundation’s activities during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state already went far beyond legal requirements,” he said in a statement, “and yet the foundation submitted to even more rigorous standards when Clinton declared her candidacy for president, and is pledging to go even further if she wins.”
Of course, a foundation meeting its legal requirements is a different matter from a candidate's demonstrating her suitability for President. The Clintons became wealthy amassing donations from countries that had reason to see her gaining the presidency and being in a position to favor them.

Tellingly, the next paragraph of the article is about Trump! The other article, the one on the "hazy ties" of the Trump Empire, is summarized and linked. Why don't you pop over there right now and worry about that? It's as though the NYT assumes or hopes its readers will be thinking I bet there's worse dirt on Trump and instantly serves it up. Maybe you could go over there right now — perhaps with the words "even more rigorous standards" exorcising the foundation bedevilment — go away and never come back.

But if you stay, you will see the material about Gilbert Chagoury and other donors who sought and obtained meetings with government officials when Hillary was Secretary of State. You'll see the Judicial Watch accusation that Hillary has "conflicts of interest... cast in stone" that "will cast a shadow over" a Clinton Administration. You'll see poll numbers — 72% of voters are bothered by the donations from foreign countries. You'll see that the foundation has raised about $2 billion over the years and spent money to renegotiate the price of H.I.V. drugs, "bring healthier meals" to American schoolkids, and "help[] 105,000 farmers in East Africa increase their yields."

You'll read a lot about the Ukrainian Victor Pinchuk, "a steel magnate whose father-in-law, Leonid Kuchma, was president of Ukraine from 1994 to 2005," who gave "between $10 million and $25 million" (and loaned his private plane to the Clintons) and got plenty of access to the Clintons and to State Department officials.

If you stick with it, the last thing you'll get to is "the sale of American uranium holdings to a Russian state-owned enterprise." Hillary's State Department signed off on that deal, "which involved major Clinton charitable backers from Canada." The Times says:
There was no evidence that Mrs. Clinton had exerted influence over the deal, but the timing of the transaction and the donations raised questions about whether the donors had received favorable handling.
We see this phrase "no evidence" in journalistic reports quite often. But legally, evidence is anything that affects the likelihood that a fact in issue is true. So the timing is evidence.

Now, here's the Trump article, "Trump’s Empire: A Maze of Debts and Opaque Ties," by Susanne Craig. This is a longer article, and we're primed to think there's something fishy in all the complexity. Trump, unsurprisingly, must finance his real estate projects and he uses banks, including banks he has criticized in campaign speeches — the Bank of China and Goldman Sachs.
[A]n investigation by The New York Times into the financial maze of Mr. Trump’s real estate holdings in the United States reveals that companies he owns have at least $650 million in debt — twice the amount than can be gleaned from public filings he has made as part of his bid for the White House....

Earlier in the campaign, Mr. Trump submitted a 104-page federal financial disclosure form. It said his businesses owed at least $315 million to a relatively small group of lenders and listed ties to more than 500 limited liability companies. Though he answered the questions, the form appears to have been designed for candidates with simpler finances than his, and did not require disclosure of portions of his business activities....

That Mr. Trump seems to have so much less debt on his disclosure form than what The Times found is not his fault, but rather a function of what the form asks candidates to list and how. The form, released by the Federal Election Commission, asks that candidates list assets and debts not in precise numbers, but in ranges that top out at $50 million — appropriate for most candidates, but not for Mr. Trump. Through its examination, The Times was able to discern the amount of debt taken out on each property, and its ownership structure....
I have trouble seeing the problem with the debt — other than in the same way we worry about wealth. Government action affects financial interests. Trump's numbers are very high, compared to what we've seen in other candidates, but all candidates have financial interests.
Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, said that Mr. Trump could have left the liability section on the form blank, because federal law requires that presidential candidates disclose personal liabilities, not corporate debt. Mr. Trump, he said, has no personal debt.

“We overdisclosed,” Mr. Weisselberg said, explaining that it was decided that when a Trump company owned 100 percent of a property, all of the associated debt would be disclosed, something that he said went beyond what the law required.
As noted above with Clinton, there's a difference between meeting bare legal requirements and having the stellar character we want in a President, but Weisselberg is only talking about filling out a form properly, not whether there's been any sale of government influence. Trump's activities might be complex but they seem to be only about making money, which is a simple motivation.

Trump has been building his family company over many decades, accumulating great wealth. The Clinton family has amassed wealth — not as much, but within a short time and using the prestige and influence of the past presidency of the husband and the promise of a future presidency for the wife.

If you ran a newspaper, like the NYT, how would you balance coverage of the 2 stories? I'd say the Clinton problem is more worrisome, but the Trump article is longer and more detailed, which justifies giving it top billing on the front page. It's almost as if the Clinton article was generated to go along with it, to give the appearance of balance the in-depth investigation of Trump.


tim maguire said...

Trump's "empire" is real estate and it is standard for real estate to be heavily leveraged. It's not surprising to find discrepancies between his filings and the Times' analysis--both are based on estimates and assumptions. That's normal. It's dishonest for the Times to use that to raise suspicion. But then, Trump isn't the one they're trying to get into the White House.

If last week is any guide, this sort of coverage will not hurt Trump.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's not surprising to find discrepancies between his filings and the Times' analysis--both are based on estimates and assumptions."

You don't even need that excuse. The NYT article (as opposed to the headline and front-page squib) makes it clear that Trump filled out a standard form not only correctly but included even more than was asked.

Ann Althouse said...

There isn't even a "discrepancy," so you're actually floating an insinuation.

Rob said...

In its Trump story, the New York Times strained mightily but couldn't produce a single turd. In the absence of any excrement to fling, it was reduced to manufacturing a noxious stew of innuendo and smears. The sub-head should have been: "Here we sit, broken-hearted . . . ."

rhhardin said...

Debt is normal. The lender agrees to certain financial risks and makes money on it. The other source of funds is equity.

Both are betting that Trump knows how to do something with the money that people want done, taking on the risk that it doesn't work out.

Even if Trump has the money himself to finance it all, it's not normal to do so. You spread the risk around, across people and projects.

rhhardin said...

NYT debt is probably pretty worthless, if you want to buy some on the open market.

Bob R said...

Two typos. (1) You missed "million" after $650. (2) You added an unnecessary "It's almost as if" at the beginning of the last sentence.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

I used to buy and read the New York Times everyday. It was only available in print at that time. Of course that was when they made an effort to report honestly even though they collectively were quite liberal.

Back then their reporting and editorial staffs included a fair number of conservatives. Those days are over. Now, the new york times is part of the Lefts' media echo chamber. Sadly, the hippies now control most of the media.

BDNYC said...

How many different private jets have the Clintons borrowed over the years? Ron Burkle, Jeffrey Epstein, the Canadian mining mogul, the Ukrainian steel magnate ... who else? Seriously, do they ever pay the freight? Heck, Hillary "borrowing" Air Force One on the campaign trail is just another example of the same thing.

I wonder what the FMV has been of all the free trips on borrowed aircraft.

traditionalguy said...

And tell me where Carlos Slim got his Richest Man In The World title while living in Mexico?

Is he a direct descendant of Spanish Conquistadors? He is using the NYT's Ink like Pizarro used Peru's Incas.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Bedevil is one of those words I don't hear very frequently.

dbp said...

I think the best way to understand the use and function of the Clinton Foundation it to see it used within the Clinton ecosystem much the same way banks work in an economy: People who have money can make deposits there and the money can be used to keep retainers like Huma and Sydney Bluminthal on the payroll while the Clintons are out of power and can't give them government jobs. In the case of Syd, it was a way to have him be a State Dept. adviser to Hillary even though the Obama admin would not let him be employed at State.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

These side by side articles are screaming one thing: The dough going into the Clintons is disclosed, the dough going to DJT is kept secret and only partially revealed after all sorts of research.

Also, at one point the DJT piece got close to something when they asked how much DJT was personally on the line for regarding his business debts. The DJT folks didn't want to talk about that. It sounds better to simply stick w/ the line that he has no personal debt, no comment about the business debt that he's personally responsible for.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

BTW, do other folks see all sorts of DJT ads on this website?

There is evidence that Althouse is bought and paid for by DJT.

mikee said...

Gee, if Hillary ever does anything worse than sell her office, provide patronage to the corrupt, lie, cheat, steal, and be so incompetent that entire continents fall into chaos through her actions, maybe the NYT will use stronger language than that present in this article.

On the other hand, maybe not. In for a penny, in for a pound, as the old saying goes.

The Godfather said...

Honestly, how does someone who's never had a job outside government earn $10 million per year?

Not honestly would be my guess.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"The Clintons became wealthy amassing donations from countries that had reason to see her gaining the presidency and being in a position to favor them."

Does this sentence refer to income generated from speaking fees as "donations?" Or, does it mean what it says, i.e. that the donations to the Clinton Foundation actually go into the Clintons' personal bank account?

Maybe Althouse is using the word "wealthy" in an unorthodox way. I.e., the Clintons became wealthy in spiritual fulfillment when the Foundation had dough to spend on charity.

Molly said...

In my opinion this is the history of the Clintons: When Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, Tyson foods sought the governor's help (on relaxing environmental restrictions related to chicken production). Tyson couldn't (didn't want to) persuade the Governor with a direct bribe, so they worked out an arrangement like this: Every day (or so), a (cooperating) futures broker (google Red Bone) bought and sold some futures contracts. One of these transactions (buying or selling) would make money -- that contract was (after the fact) assigned to the account of the governor's wife. The other transaction (buying or selling) would lose money -- that contract was (after the fact) assigned to the account of Tyson Foods. So Tyson's spent the money it intended to spend; the governor and his wife got the money they intended to get; and Tyson foods got the action it wanted.

Now fast forward 30 years or so: When Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, a Ukrainian company sought the secretary's help (on acquiring a uranium company). The Ukrainian company couldn't (didn't want to) persuade the Secretary with a direct bribe, so they worked out an arrangement like this: They made donations to the Clinton Foundation or gave ex-President Clinton an honorarium to give a speech. The Ukrainian company spent the money it intended to spend; the Secretary and her hisband got the money they intended to get; the Ukrainian company got the action it wanted.

Hagar said...

There is also Tyson's private plane pilot who went on TV testifying to carrying manila envelopes stuffed with $100 bills from Tyson Fods to the Clintons in Little Rock.

(See PBS's "Secrets of an Independent Counsel.")

ObeliskToucher said...

Those pesky donors...

Bruce Hayden said...

You do have to keep the Clinton family foundation and slush fund money separate from the speech money. They have raised north of $100 million giving speeches, and ten times that with the foundation. It is supposed to be used for charitable, or at least seemingly noble purposes (beyond making the Clintons rich). The family foundation/slush fund can't legally buy their clothes or their mansions. That is where the speakers big gig money comes in. Personally, all that they can get out of it is a lot of first class air travel and staying in 5 star hotels. So, you would think that there was a lot of money slushing around just waiting for charitable causes, like the disaster in Haiti. But, apparently, maybe 10% of what was brought in was directly spent on that sort of thing. Most of the rest was spent on overhead and salaries. And you ask, who did the foundation spend money on hiring? One example was Sydney Blumenthal, who took foundation/slush fund checks, along with those of other, even more questionable, sources, after the Obama people told Crooked Hillary that she couldn't hire him. Another recipient was close aide Huma Abdeen, whose husband lost his job from texting pictures of his penis, and they couldn't afford their lifestyle on her State Dept salary alone. A lot of that sort of thing has been going on for years with the billion or two brought into the family foundation/slush fund.

For the most part, we don't know who really contributed to the Clinton family foundation/slush fund, and even less about where the money really went, except that most of it was spent on overhead and salaries. Most of the salaries didn't rise to the level required to be disclosed. And, even if it had, the foundation/slush fund has not been successfully audited by CPAs in years, and seems to routinely have to restate its federal filings. My guess is that the Clintons, as usual, are stonewalling like crazy here, with the expectation that once in the White House, Crooked Hillary can make it all go away with quiet orders to the IRS and SEC.

Sebastian said...

Of course, even treating the stories as parallel itself shows bias. Trump's "empire" is an actual business venture, the Clinton Foundation an inherently corrupt outfit. Leaving Trump U etc. out of it, the people who potentially get hurt most by Trumpian shenanigans are other pros, whereas we all, the very fabric of government, get hurt by the fundamental corruption that was and is the Clintons' MO.

Hagar said...

"The Clinton Foundation" is too easy; there are several. The Clinton presidential library - "the double-wide" - is one for which the last I read many years ago, $495 million had been donated, including "between 5 and 10 million" by the State of Norway. If you can think of a reaason for the State of Norway to donate to presidential libraries in the U.S. that is not connected to oil drilling in the North Sea and necessary cooperation from the U.S. Government, please let us know.

Then there is the Clinton Global Iniative, which seems to operate as kind of an international clearing house for government influence peddling, and there is a Clinton Family Foundation, and I am sure I have read the name of at least one more.

Bob Boyd said...

And they used a picture of a looming tower, essentially a thousand scary words about Trump.

readering said...

The Trump article does not purport to be a criticism of Trump. It's about the notion of having a blind trust to prevent conflicts of interest in the presidency. Which sets up the much more obvious conflicts of interest issue for the Clinton Foundation article. Mych less interesting than 2 sorority sisters feuding.

Bob Boyd said...

I'm sure it's entirely coincidental there is a headline about segregation bracketed between the 'hazy empire' piece and another, "How Can America Recover From Donald Trump?"

Comanche Voter said...

You don't have debt if you are a shakedown artist. You just have cash you collected. So there is that in favor of Hillary---no debt!

As for Trump's debt? Some people call that leverage. You don't get rich using your money, you get rich using other people's money. Which, mostly you pay off. Unless you don't in which case you go bankrupt.

The Clinton Foundation and the various Clinton scams are bankrupt only in the moral sense. They got rich using other people's money--which they kept.

Bruce Hayden said...

The thing that really bothers me here is the false equivalents so popular in the media today this morning on CBS's Sunday Morning showed clips of people lying in public. Bill Clinton on sex, George HW Bush on raising taxes, Nixon, twice, about Watergate Crooked Hillary on not sending classified email and finally, Trump on ISIS being started by Obama (and Crooked Hillary). One thing didn't fit with the rest - Trump. He was exaggerating, and, deep down, everyone knew it. He wasn't lying, as most people understand the word. They would have done better if they had shown Obama and one of his whoppers, like keeping your doctor with ObamaCare. We have the same thing here, with parallel articles on the two candidates, one about complete corruption in the buying and selling of official government favors, on a scale never seen before in this country, and one about running legitimate businesses to build things and make money. Yet, somehow, we are supposed to think them equivalent.

Dude1394 said...

The only take-away I can have is that being a politician is cleaner than being a businessman. A politician just asks for money and promises a favor, much like a mafioso.

A businessman has to actually raise the money and build something.

I need to push my children into the corrupt politician business!! The media will love you for it.

SteveR said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...
BTW, do other folks see all sorts of DJT ads on this website?

There is evidence that Althouse is bought and paid for by DJT.

No Jelly, you're being trolled by AdRoll, it knows you are interested in DJT. You've been re-targeted.

walter said...

Bob Boyd said...
And they used a picture of a looming tower, essentially a thousand scary words about Trump.
Yes! Amazing how that wasn't touched on while Ann mentioned font size etc. ..or in response posts until Bob's.
It's kind of a big decision to do that in print media, space at a premium.

Michael said...

Actually, by their standards, I thought the articles were pretty down the middle. The Times' disappointment at not finding anything more damning on Trump was palpable, and the Clinton article was certainly toned down, but all in all both were better than I would have expected. Maybe their consciences are starting to stir a little.

walter said...

In service to parallelism, a photo

Yancey Ward said...

PBandJ_LeDouanier wrote:

BTW, do other folks see all sorts of DJT ads on this website?

Too funny! No, Althouse isn't owned by DJT- the ads are specifically targeted to you. Who knew you were bought and paid for by Trump?

walter said...

Be careful. If you wake up with hair dyed orange, you'll know you've been visited.

Charles said...

Amy Chozick was also the reporter for the August 10th doozy, When Her Family Needed Money, Hillary Clinton Faced Stark Choices by Amy Chozick (which, interestingly, has now been retitled). In that article, Chozick attempted to normalize Hillary Clinton's avarice by making the argument that H. Clinton was scarred by financial hardship and uncertainty when Bill Clinton was out of office for two years early in his career as governor. Chozick works hard with words to make her case but the financial numbers indicate that the Clintons were, even at the beginning, always in the top 10% or better. I explore the financial story in Let the sunshine (

In addition to this Trump's Empire attack, this is the second time that the NYT has attempted a hit job and come up with a nothing burger. Back on May 14th they had Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private. Several reporters over several weeks and all they got was a mixed story of some women praising him for giving them opportunities by appointing strong women executives long before that was the norm and a few others accusing him of saying mean things or being crude.

Lucien said...

By the way, over at Slate the regurgitation of the Trump story says his companies are more than $650 million in debt, which seems to say they have a negative net worth of over $650 million, not that they have leveraged assets worth far more than $650 million.

But I'm sure it's an honest mistake.

Bill Peschel said...

If you're interested in more media bias, willing or unwilling, check Google News. I've seen a HuffPo article critical of Trump at the top of the column. (You remember HuffPo, the "news outlet" that has that a paragraph criticizing Trump as racist, sexist, most evil man ever at the bottom of each post).

There have been news items critical of Trump on the campaign trail in the middle of the Entertainment feed. At this moment, they have there a CNN article "Trump campaign manager: A Deportation Force TPD."

In fact, today's look shows a pretty sober balance of articles. At least four Trump stories near the top; one about Obama returning to work after his long vacay (no mention of criticism for playing golf while Louisiana drowns); nothing about Hillary.

In the Elections section, there's three more Trump stories (Mook calling Trump a puppet for the Kremlin, Trump appealing to blacks and Hispanics, and Trump supporters spat on by protestors) and one sort-of Hillary story (DeCaprio bowing out of a fundraiser, replaced by Timberlake and Jessica Biel).

R.J. Chatt said...

The Clintons have been at this for a long time.

Remember the Lincoln Bedroom! Bedroom Bucks

"President Bill Clinton's guests in the Lincoln Bedroom gave a total of at least $5.4 million to the Democratic National Committee during 1995 and 1996, according to a study for CNN by the Campaign Study Group."

"We got strict advice about -- legal advice -- about what the rules were and everyone involved knew what the rules were," Clinton said.

"Did we hope that the people that came there would support me, particularly after we got into a political season? Of course we did.

"But there was no solicitation during the events and the guidelines, which I believe were made available to you also yesterday in the documents, made it clear that there was to be no price tags on these events," Clinton said.


In other developments:

The New York Times reported that some Democratic fund-raisers say they explicitly sold invitations to White House coffees, arranging invitations for $50,000 to $100,000. Party leaders allowed officials to entice wealthy prospective donors by asking for contributions in exchange for putting their names on White House guest lists, the Times reported.

"I think it is fair to say that there was an understanding that if we became a trustee member [a member of the Democratic National Committee's managing trustees program], there was going to be an invitation to a White House coffee," Thomas J. Tauke, a Nynex Corp. executive, told the newspaper.

The White House's coffee get-togethers were a lucrative part of Democratic fund-raising last year. Documents released by the White House show that the campaign projected that one hastily scheduled meeting could bring in $500,000. Another of the coffees was projected to raise $350,000.

Bill Clinton says, "... the Lincoln Bedroom was never sold..."

And then, more cultural enrichment from the Clinton Administration, 1997: For Sale Connections Are Key In Asian Business Culture
Being invited by the White House to the event was important. Having a seat on the front row and a chance to shake hands with the U.S. president is worth a lot.

Just how much is difficult to say, but Asian businessmen place a high value on pictures with a U.S. president. To some, it is better than hunting big game, more important than winning a golf tournament. To some, it means success.

Mark Israelsen, president of the American Chamber of Commerce-Thailand says, "That's...the Asian way."

Israelsen has been doing business in Thailand for more than a decade. He says giving money in exchange for access is considered just the way to do business by Asians in Asia.

"I think it's a common practice in terms of getting influence or recognition in the Asian market," Israelsen says.

So coffee at the White House would be seen as an important accomplishment for the chief executive officer of an Asian company?

"Absolutely!" he says.

poker1one said...

Great comment by Sebastian, at 9:02 A.M. Also Bruce Hayden at about the same time, the whole motivation for Clinton's run is so she gets in the White House where she presumes she is immune from the legal problems she created for herself. The voters are just tools.

PB and J, I don't see any ads because I set up my connection not to show them.

On the subject of PB, I can't understand why this site lets these people (trolls) continue to post. Never any enlightenment from them simply lies and obfuscation. Their intention is to mislead.

Go Trump 2016! Go Ivanka 2024!

walter said...

"We got strict advice about -- legal advice -- about what the rules were and everyone involved knew what the rules were," Clinton said.
Translation: We found the loopholes

HoodlumDoodlum said...

$650M of debt vs. how much in assets...on what cash flow?

What's the California's current debt (be sure to include pension liabilities)? Does the Times use that kind of headline number (gross debt, divorced from any other relevant info) in other situations?

khesanh0802 said...

@poker1one Agree with your sentiments. How do I set up to get rid of ads on this blog - at least in the body of the blog? I have gone on google to try to limit them but I am still getting in-column ads. Thanks.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

rhhardin said...Debt is normal. The lender agrees to certain financial risks and makes money on it. The other source of funds is equity.

More than that, debt is heavily preferred (over equity) as a funding mechanism in most cases due to its treatment under tax law. That's literally Business 101 stuff, right? But big # debt = bad @business Trump I guess is the NYT's message to its audience...presumably that's the message they want.

[khesanh0802 said.... How do I set up to get rid of ads on this blog - at least in the body of the blog? It might be worth asking if it hurts the Professor in any way if we block ads (I don't know what the Blogger monetization scheme is), but AdBlock Plus works pretty well and isn't overly intrusive.]

gadfly said...

So since we know that Trump truly lies about his $10 billion fortune, and we now know that the Federal Elections Commission has been shown only $1.5 billion in estimated worth, the question becomes:
Why doesn't Donald release his tax returns?

He has already produced required, albeit hazy, financial numbers for those who know where to search.

On Thursday, reading from prepared notes, Donald said he sometimes said the wrong things, "But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth."

The truth is that releasing his tax return cannot possibly have any effect upon his tax audit results. So now he needs to put up or shut up about lying about "not lying" to us.

gadfly said...

@khesanh0802 said...
How do I set up to get rid of ads on this blog - at least in the body of the blog? I have gone on google to try to limit them but I am still getting in-column ads. Thanks.

Kim Komando to the rescue! Its all about those dratted cookies that google ads use.

eric said...

I find it hard to believe that Trump is only 650 million dollars in debt.

I mean, seriously. I'd imagine his Trump casino in Vegas has to be worth pretty close to that. And then his properties in NYC? Maybe he really is worth 10 billion if he only has 650 million in debt.

As to bias. Well, there is a pretty good look at the bias today over here:

Not that you'd want to go through this sort of work, Ann, but she see's the score as:

The final tally here would be 102 anti-Trump, 0 pro-Trump, 22 pro-Hillary, seven anti-Hillary, and six too wishy-washy to tell. (By the way, an anti-Hillary column is nothing like an anti-Trump column. “She’s not quite there on child care” would be an example of how Hillary is criticized.)

khesanh0802 said...

@gadfly Thanks. I read the link(s). Now I'll have to screw up my courage to try some of the recommendations.

Mac McConnell said...

"The truth is that releasing his tax return cannot possibly have any effect upon his tax audit results. So now he needs to put up or shut up about lying about "not lying" to us."

Only an idiot politician would release tax returns to the public before an IRS audit is complete. The possible audit results could hurt the candidate if even honest mistakes or code disagreements were revealed. This IRS would never be politically motivated would they? Yes this ATF / DOJ would never run guns to Mexico either for political purposes.

Darrell said...

Clinton started out with a $Billion war chest if the Media is to be believed. She put that together in the last eight years by any menas possible, including selling America's security. Trump never intended to match her spending. He has shown that political commercials are a waste of money. Especially Hillary's commercials where 90% of voters polled say "liar" is the first word they associate with Hillary.

Rusty said...

Also, at one point the DJT piece got close to something when they asked how much DJT was personally on the line for regarding his business debts. The DJT folks didn't want to talk about that. It sounds better to simply stick w/ the line that he has no personal debt, no comment about the business debt that he's personally responsible for.

All of it.
You don't sign the contract unless you're willing to assume the risk.
What you really want to look at is his debt to asset ratio.

Rusty said...

"The truth is that releasing his tax return cannot possibly have any effect upon his tax audit results. So now he needs to put up or shut up about lying about "not lying" to us."

Correct me if I'm wrong here Althouse, but wouldn't the IRS look at something like that as interfering with the proceedings. To my understanding an IRS audit is a legal proceeding and any accountant like any lawyer will advise you to keep your trap shut unless asked a direct question.

Bad Lieutenant said...

There's nothing there in his taxes. If there was, Obama either would have had it leaked, or perhaps, if clever, have had the audit terminated, and leave him with no excuses.

Peter said...

The difference is in what's being sold.

The Clintons have been selling what rightfully belongs to The People. What Trump has been selling may be overpriced, but at least he and his organizations have the right to sell it.