Report: Donald Trump's Father Floated Millions in Early Financial Struggles – U.S. News & World Report

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Donald Trump, Ivana Trump, Mary Trump and Fred Trump attend PAL Dinner in May 1987 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.  (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)

Donald Trump stands with then-wife Ivana Trump and parents Mary and Fred Trump in 1987. Fred Trump arranged millions of dollars in loans and lines of credit during his son’s early career, according to a new report. Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

Donald Trump reported losing nearly a billion dollars in 1995, but that wasn’t the only year the real estate mogul suffered significant financial setbacks according to a Newsweek investigation.

On Saturday, The New York Times published tax documents from that year showing losses at Trump’s casinos, hotels and airline empire reaching $916 million, a figure so high he could have avoided almost two decades of federal income taxes.

Trump and his supporters have described the Republican nominee’s ability to claw out of the massive hole as evidence of his “genius” as a businessman. But on Wednesday, Newsweek reported on documents revealing Trump’s father repeatedly gave him a financial hand up when he got into trouble.

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald reported on files compiled in 1980 and 1981 by the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, as Trump was exploring opening his first casinos. According to Eichenwald, Trump’s father, Fred Trump, personally guaranteed a construction loan in order to finance the redevelopment of the Commodore Hotel in midtown Manhattan – a project that’s success was instrumental in launching Trump’s real estate ventures. He also arranged for his son to get a $35 million personal line of credit – an amount that was adjusted upward when Trump exceeded the limit.

A document obtained by Newsweek showed Trump incurred personal losses of $406,379 in 1978, as multiple Trump-owned rental properties across New York failed to break even, several business partnerships lost money and the interest on the Chase Manhattan credit line began to pile up. And in 1979, he lost $3.4 million. He paid no federal taxes in either year.

Without the cash in his bank accounts, Eichenwald reports, Trump’s father arranged loans when banks refused, securing a total of $7.5 million for his son in addition to a nearly $1 million loan from one of the family’s companies. The Newsweek report notes that the loans were not required to be paid within a fixed time period and that Trump was not responsible for interest.

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