It’s no secret, Trump HATES the “failing” New York Times and after today, he is going to REALLY hate the 164-year-old, Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper (117 Pulitzer Prize, btw, the most of any newspaper).
There, in black and white, on the front page of the New York Times the headline reads, “Trump Casinos Got Break On Tax Bill Under Christie.” Journalist Russ Buettner tells us in his article a story that should raise more than a few eyebrows. He points out that prior to Chris Christie being elected governor of New Jersey, Trump’s casino business owed $30 million in taxes.
Hmm, perhaps this is why Trump refuses to release his tax returns, you think?
One year after Christie took office, the state of New Jersey settled the tax bill for a mere fraction of what was owed: $5 million which equates to about 17 cents on every dollar. Trump has historically touted that “a stupid person, a really stupid person, is paying a lot of taxes” while using his lawyers and bankruptcy court as a silver bullet in his business model. However, this settlement after his close friend took the executive office of a state he owed millions to is questionable.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Christie met in 2002, when Mr. Christie was the United States attorney for New Jersey. Mr. Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry, then a federal judge in the state, had mentioned to Mr. Christie that her famous brother would like to meet him. They struck up a friendship. Mr. Christie was invited to Mr. Trump’s third wedding in 2005, and Mr. Trump was a prominent guest at Mr. Christie’s inauguration in 2010. They have double dated with their wives.
The article also outlines financial contributions made by Trump to some of Christie’s pet causes after he took office which include “large donations to the Drumthwacket Foundation, which finances maintenance and improvements to New Jersey’s historic governor’s residence” and “large contributions to the Republican Governors Association when Mr. Christie was its chairman.”
Of course, Christie wasn’t “directly” forgiving anything. Heather Anderson was a deputy attorney general of New Jersey in 2007. While she raised questions about the accuracy of the tax returns from Trump’s casino business, the New York Times article points out:
Ms. Anderson also wrote that Mr. Trump’s flagship casino, the Taj Mahal, had reported to the casino commission that it paid $2.2 million in alternative minimum assessment tax in 2003, which was not true. The company had paid only $500 in income taxes.
So basically we have a “billionaire” businessman in a close friendship with a Republican politician in a state for which he is doing business. The rich businessman donates money to the politician’s causes. Individuals who are part of the politician’s administration for the state then strike deals that forgive $25 million in tax debt and a month later, the businessman and politician go on yet another double date with their wives at a swanky restaurant.
And, that politician has been hired by the businessman to lead his transition team should he be elected as President of the United States.
Got it. Nothing concerning here. Nothing to see. Just business as usual. . . I guess.
Yeah, we will never see Trump’s tax returns. He will be keeping those quite private.
Psst. . . this is basically the dictionary definition of corruption.
Featured image via Craig Allen/Getty Images