‘Doesn’t that make me a smart guy?’: Trump defends Chicago business deals after NYT report

Source: Politico | October 28, 2020 | Quint Forgey

The president’s latest tweet closely resembles other arguments he has employed in response to news accounts of his financial records.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that a report showing he dodged hundreds of millions of dollars in debt proved him to be a “smart guy,” reprising a much-criticized defense of his business and financial practices.

“As a developer long ago, and continuing to this day, the politicians ran Chicago into the ground,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I was able to make an appropriately great deal with the numerous lenders on a large and very beautiful tower. Doesn’t that make me a smart guy rather than a bad guy?”

The president’s social media post came after The New York Times reported Tuesday that his lenders for the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago had since 2010 forgiven roughly $270 million in unpaid bills accumulated as part of the massive real estate project.

Trump’s latest tweet closely resembles other arguments he has employed in response to news accounts of his financial records. After the Times reported in October 2016 that he had declared a nearly $1 billion loss on his 1995 tax returns, Trump remarked during a presidential debate that not paying federal income taxes “makes me smart.”

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