Politics

The Trump brand is badly damaged

Trump denies debts

Trump regularly rejects reports that he is in financial trouble. Regarding his debt to Deutsche Bank, he said in mid-October that the $ 400 million was only “a tiny percentage of my net worth.” Forbes magazine recently estimated his fortune at around $ 2.5 billion – up from $ 3.7 billion at the end of 2016 before he moved into the White House.

Noah Bookbinder, director of the NGO (non-governmental organization) Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), points out that in the past four years, tax money has reliably flowed directly into Trump’s hotels and golf courses – because Trump is very often there with government staff and family members and Secret Service policemen.

In September, CREW put the revenue from Trump’s properties from visits by the President at more than $ 100 million. The organization listed a total of around 3,400 cases of conflicts of interest when foreign government delegations or lobbyists stayed in Trump hotels.

Bookbinder criticizes that Trump did not completely break away from his corporate empire after taking office. Instead, there was a merger of political and business interests.

Difficult customer contact

Trump used his presidency to advertise his brand – and his sons, who are responsible for the business, made a political mood for Trump. The consequence is that the Trump brand will find it more difficult in the future to address customers who are not part of Trump’s political base. Trump could now rely on a “smaller, but extremely devoted” group of admirers.

In order to pay off his debts at Deutsche Bank, Trump could sell his real estate, says his biographer D’Antonio. It is possible that “in ten years there will be no more Trump Towers, Trump Hotels or Trump Golf Courses”.

But the ex-president and former TV entertainer could reinvent himself, according to D’Antonio: Trump would possibly build his own TV network that would be anchored in the very conservative milieu. Trump would then continue to rally his following as a kind of “political evangelical” preacher.

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