Over the summer, President-Elect Donald Trump filed documents with the FEC revealing he owed around $315 million to 10 entities. This debt is a clear conflict of interest then, and even more so now, because as President, he will be responsible for regulating entities he also owes money to. These debts are also often renegotiated, meaning these entities can have leverage over Trump in the process of regulation.
(From Trump’s 2016 Financial Disclosure Form)
A new report, however, shows that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Trump was only required by the FEC to reveal the debt owed by companies he owns by himself. It turns out, his actual debt includes up to $1.5 Billion more than previously reported, because of debt incurred by companies he has at least 30% stake in.
According to a Think Progress report:
These financial institutions include many firms that are under the scrutiny of the federal agencies that Trump will soon control. Wells Fargo, for example, which services over $900 million in loans connected to Trump, “is currently facing scrutiny from federal regulators surrounding its fraudulent sales practices and other issues.”
Trump will soon appoint the top regulators who will be responsible for scrutinizing the bank’s conduct.
A press conference that was scheduled to address Trump’s numerous conflict of interest was scheduled for December and then canceled. Another press conference has been scheduled for January 11, although it appears not to be exclusively focused on his business activities.
Trump keeps scheduling then postponing press conferences to address his business dealings and conflicts of interest. It’s becoming clear that he is going to ignore these issues and dare someone to try and stop him.