What's Next for Trump? The Family Business Awaits His Return

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  sister-mary-agnes-ample-bottom  •  2 weeks ago  •  17 comments

By:   Ben Protess, Steve Eder and Eric Lipton (MSN)

What's Next for Trump? The Family Business Awaits His Return
President Trump's tax records show signs of financial distress, he claims to have lost out on billions of dollars in income while in office and his eldest sons say the family business has forfeited dozens of potential deals across the globe. Now, denied a second term by voters, Mr. Trump may seek to return to a once-lucrative career in television, this time with a decidedly political bent. His family business will also be free to make up for...

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What's Next for Trump? The Family Business Awaits His Return

President Trump's tax records show signs of financial distress, he claims to have lost out on billions of dollars in income while in office and his eldest sons say the family business has forfeited dozens of potential deals across the globe.

© Scott McIntyre for The New York Times The president's Doral golf resort near Miami has had a drop-off in conference revenue since the he took office.

Now, denied a second term by voters, Mr. Trump may seek to return to a once-lucrative career in television, this time with a decidedly political bent. His family business will also be free to make up for lost time by once again looking overseas, where hotels and golf clubs helped drive its growth before his election in 2016.

Eric Trump and a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond on Saturday to requests for comment on the business's post-White-House plans. The president put out a statement disputing the outcome of the election, indicating that he did not believe he had lost.

After winning the presidency four years ago, Mr. Trump declined to sell off his stake in the Trump Organization, and instead adopted a plan that he said would eliminate conflicts of interest. Among other things, the Trump Organization pledged to forgo new deals outside the United States and hired an ethics adviser to screen certain domestic ventures.

Democrats and others argued that the restrictions were half-measures at best, and indeed the approach did little to prevent the president from turning his resorts and hotels into a hub of favor seeking for lobbyists, donors and corporate chiefs, as The New York Times reported in October.

Still, the presidency took a toll on the privately owned family business, which has not closed a new hotel deal since Mr. Trump entered the White House. The company shelved a proposed chain of budget-friendly hotels last year, and Mr. Trump's financial disclosure statements showed that his top cash-generating properties had largely gone sideways. Without offering evidence, Mr. Trump claimed last year that being president was "probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion."

© Monique Jaques for The New York Times Trump Towers Istanbul. After the president leaves office, his company will once again be able to license his name overseas.

The ban on new foreign deals probably dealt the biggest blow. Before the presidency, the company was eyeing a major expansion in China; it would even maintain a Chinese bank account and keep an inactive office in Shanghai during the presidency. It had also done exploratory work on new business partnerships in Colombia, Brazil and Turkey.

No longer constrained by its self-imposed ethics plan, the Trump Organization is now expected to seek hotel deals and other business, according to several people close to the company. Even so, there will be numerous obstacles to a rebound, including the coronavirus pandemic, law enforcement investigations into the company and a deeply divided view of Mr. Trump among the American public. Additionally, if Mr. Trump made another run for the White House in 2024, he might need to avoid new foreign entanglements that could provide ammunition for political rivals.

As Mr. Trump is poised to once again become a private citizen, here is the landscape for his family business.

Mr. Trump may begin selling his name again.

The fastest way for the Trump Organization to raise money is to flip the switch on its international deal machine, licensing the Trump name to real estate projects like hotels and residential towers.

When Mr. Trump entered the White House in 2017, Trump Organization executives said the company had left behind more than two dozen such branding deals, including in China, Israel and across South America. As Mr. Trump leaves office, he is popular in some countries, and his brand is widely recognized.

The branding deals are largely risk-free for the company because they do not require capital investments and generally make between $500,000 and $1 million a year, at least initially. The payments often decline after units in residential buildings are sold, unless the Trump Organization makes parallel agreements to manage the properties.

His company, however, still faces legal scrutiny.

While Congress may no longer be as focused on Mr. Trump's business activities, prosecutors in New York will continue their investigations.

The Manhattan district attorney's office is investigating Mr. Trump and his company for an array of potential financial crimes and is seeking his tax returns. The New York State attorney general's office is conducting a separate civil inquiry into suspicions that the company misstated its assets, possibly to reduce taxes or obtain loans.

The company has denied any wrongdoing, but it may be reluctant to provide the investigators with additional deals to scrutinize. Eric Trump, who runs the company with his brother Donald Jr., last year cited scrutiny from Democrats and the media as a major reason for suspending plans to open a new line of hotels.

The investigations could also lead to negative publicity as the company is looking to expand.

A new stream of business partners may emerge with Mr. Trump out of the spotlight.

Over the past four years, Bobby R. Burchfield, a Washington lawyer, served as the Trump Organization's ethics adviser, scrutinizing potential deals and business partners. The examinations made it difficult for some to pass muster, while others were scared off by the public attention.

That scrutiny will now fall away, opening a pipeline of new partners.

And with more than $300 million in debt coming due that the president has personally guaranteed, there may be some urgency for the Trump Organization to line up new deals. In addition, an adverse ruling in an audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service could cost him more than $100 million, The Times reported in September.

A polarized country and the pandemic could hamper a rebound.

Some of Mr. Trump's most lucrative properties are in Democratic strongholds, like New York and Chicago, where he remains deeply unpopular. And his biggest revenue-generator, his Doral golf resort in Florida, has suffered from a drop-off in conference revenue as some big companies and organizations stayed away because of his divisiveness.

As president, Mr. Trump has tried to fill the gap, at least in part, through events booked at his properties by groups connected to him and Republican politics. The Trump International Hotel near the White House was often brimming with partisan allies.

It is unclear if that patronage will continue, or if Mr. Trump's detractors will return to his properties once he leaves office. Additionally, it has been a tough year for the hospitality industry because of the pandemic, and the headwinds have hit commercial real estate, too. Both are central to Mr. Trump's business portfolio.

There may be another presidential act for Mr. Trump or his children.

Mr. Trump, as of late, has privately raised the idea of running again in 2024. And the possibility of another Trump presidential run could have a chilling effect on his business in the intervening years, at least in countries like China, where a thicket of ethical and legal conflicts could arise.

The president also may not be the last Trump to run for elected office.

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump may hold future political aspirations, and that could curb some plans for growth. The risks are greatest on the international front, where potential for conflicts of interest abound.

Finally, there is Mr. Trump's love for television.

During his time in the White House, Mr. Trump put his eldest sons in charge of his company along with a team of other executives. But even before that, he had receded somewhat from scouting deals, letting his children take the lead.

Where and how Mr. Trump will reassert himself in the family business will be one of the intriguing questions surrounding his return to private life. A onetime reality TV star, he may instead return to television as a political pundit or in another role, those around him say.

There have been preliminary discussions about acquiring or starting a Trump-branded network, for example. His work on "The Apprentice," tax records show, brought him new sources of cash and furthered a myth that would help propel him to the White House, The Times reported in September. Paid speeches and a book deal could also await him.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.


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Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    2 weeks ago

Any problems Donald Trump encounters after leaving office, are of his own making.  No one will want to enter into a business deal with someone who put their low moral character and willingness to screw over anyone and everyone on full, not to mention prideful, display.  

In addition, his financial situation makes him an unworthy risk by even the mildest standards.

It's time for him to be held accountable, not just for his unscrupulous dealings while occupying the White House, but for previous criminal and other unscrupulous activities that date back to the beginning of his 'business career'.  

 
 
 
Raven Wing
1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1    2 weeks ago

Do you think he will try to revise his Apprentice show again? He craves attention so badly that he will try to do something to put himself in the spotlight again. 

Or he may have someone write a book for him that makes him out a Hero President. /s

 
 
 
Ozzwald
1.1.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Raven Wing @1.1    2 weeks ago
Do you think he will try to revise his Apprentice show again?

I don't see any network wanting to touch that.

He craves attention so badly that he will try to do something to put himself in the spotlight again. 

Rumor has him wanting to create his own network or trying to take over from Rush Limbaugh.  I don't knw where he'd get the money for a network though.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
1.1.2  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  Raven Wing @1.1    2 weeks ago

The entertainment field might be his only way of obtaining revenue.  And 'might' is the operative word.  

Also, He has retitled at least 2 books since becoming president.  He retitled Crippled America to Great Again:  How to Fix Our Crippled America, then added a forward written by 'President-elect Donald J. Trump'.  He also added a preface that touts his...plan...for the presidency.  This version of the book was re-released after Trump became president. 

He did the same thing with the book Time To Get Tough

He should have titled them How to Personally Profit While President (volumes 1 and 2). 

If you want a true barf-fest, look at the books written by his pals since he's been in office.  Skip down to the 'Customers who bought this item also bought...' section and scroll over using the right arrow.  

  

 
 
 
Raven Wing
1.1.3  Raven Wing  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

He does not have the proper grammar or vocabulary to write his own books, so he finds some worms to write them for him who will gladly include any and all the lies he comes up with. As a writer myself, I would never want my name associated with Trumps for any amount of money. But, I guess those who do have no such thing as self-respect or dignity. So they are a good match for Trump. 

However, even if he did write any new books, chances are that they would not be a very high volume seller. Even his base could not make the book much money.

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.1.4  Tessylo  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

tRump's 'presidency' has been like 4 years of a WWE/cage match/freeforall

 
 
 
devangelical
1.2  devangelical  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1    2 weeks ago

the coming trump family financial melodrama will be like watching the titanic sink again. ha ha ha bummer.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
1.2.1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  devangelical @1.2    2 weeks ago

People were sad when the Titanic sank.  Trump deserves every horrible thing that is headed his way.  

And you know what's really ironic?  Donald Trump and his family and friends are whining about the Trump Organization's business taking a dive while he 'has been busy running the country'.  That's a hoot considering how he has continuously bragged about the fabulous economy for which he is solely responsible.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.3  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1    2 weeks ago

I've wondered if Putin is going to pay off Trump's $300million in outstanding loan payments.

Deutsche Bank I'm betting is done with him once and for all....

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.3.1  Tessylo  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.3    2 weeks ago

Donald Trump Has At Least $1 Billion In Debt, More Than Twice The Amount He Suggested

 
 
 
Kavika
1.3.2  Kavika   replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.3    2 weeks ago
Deutsche Bank I'm betting is done with him once and for all....

Interesting that you'd say that. In fact, it seems that they are going to do just that. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago
"The president put out a statement disputing the outcome of the election, indicating that he did not believe he had lost."

It seems to me that that statement puts his sanity into question.

His best bet might be a kind of mirror image of The West Wing TV series where instead of being an intelligent, caring POTUS with real integrity like Jed Bartlet as played by Martin Sheen, he's a miserable S.O.B. conniving pussy-grabbing bastard - a part that should be really easy for him to act.  Or maybe it could be The White House Zombies.  With his popular votes exceeding 70 million, he would probably have a loyal Trumpster audience.  Question - who would be the program's sponsors?  Funeral homes?  cemeteries?  vaccine manufacturers?  After all, he sure as hell has done THEM a favour. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    2 weeks ago

I bet Showtime would pick up a show like that

 
 
 
Kavika
3  Kavika     2 weeks ago

I don't care what he does just so he is out of the White House on January 20th, 2021.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
4  Hal A. Lujah    2 weeks ago

Time to make Trump University and Trump Steaks great again.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Trump is not going back to the real estate business. He says its boring. 

It will be a show that will be some kind of mix of politics and entertainment. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6  Trout Giggles    2 weeks ago

It's a mute point. The only business venture he'll be concerned about is how he can trade Ramen noodles for  toothpaste

 
 
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