Businesses not a selling point for Trump

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Donald Trump promises to run the country the way he has run his businesses. Recent reporting on Trump's financial dealings makes that promise sound like a threat.

Trump refuses to release much of the documentation that would shed light on the business background he says qualifies him to lead the nation — including, most glaringly, his tax returns. So it has been up to members of the media, including the Post and the New York Times, to piece together the puzzle of the candidate's business record.

The emerging picture is ugly. In Atlantic City, Trump's casinos failed even when the rest of the town thrived. He used company money to pay off personally guaranteed loans, and — after the 1995 creation of the public company Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts — publicly traded funds to bail out privately held casinos. The company has filed for bankruptcy five times.

Because most of his business empire is privately held, the public must look to Trump Casinos and Resorts to evaluate his claims to competency. More troubling than his company's failure is the fact that Trump did not fail with it — while his shareholders did.

Trump Casinos and Resorts lost money for its shareholders every year Trump was in charge. Meanwhile, The Post reported, Trump received more than $44 million in compensation. His casino's many mom-and-pop investors watched their holdings go down the drain while Trump used company funds to fly across the country by private jet and entertain high-profile guests on his golf courses.

"I make great deals for myself," Trump said about his Atlantic City casinos in a recent Post interview. These revelations force us to wonder once again what kind of deals he would make for the country.

The Washington Post


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