BuzzFeed: As he runs for president, Donald Trump has a massive business deal underway with the federal government: a luxury hotel in the iconic, taxpayer-owned Old Post Office building, just five blocks from the White House.
Now, a newly released document gives a glimpse into how Trump channels money to his children. It also shows that Trump leveraged a mere $2.4 million equity investment to gain control of the $200 million project.
Despite the fact that the deal concerns a beloved landmark owned by the public, key parts of the project — including who exactly owns it and how much money Trump actually invested — have remained secret. By using the Freedom of Information Act to appeal a previous denial of records, BuzzFeed News gained access to the new document: a key part of the 2013 lease Trump signed with the federal government to take over the Old Post Office building.
The document indicates that Trump gave three of his children — Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric, all of whom spoke at the Republican National Convention — more than 22% of the federal project, though they apparently invested no money of their own….
It was previously not known how Trump initially financed the endeavor, but the new records show that Trump’s capital investment at the time when he and the government finalized their lease in 2013 was just $2.393 million. And that, say experts, raises questions about whether the government ensured Trump had enough capital then to cushion taxpayers if the project hit hard times or tanked.
“Clearly this deal is a highly leveraged transaction,” said real estate finance expert Daniel Alpert, who reviewed the new document and others related to the Trump lease. Alpert, managing partner of the investment bank Westwood Capital Partners LLC, said he did not support Donald Trump and has donated to the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Trump, he said, “was able to persuade GSA to grant him a very valuable ground lease, which reduced the need for him to put cash in the deal.” Read more.