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Donald Trump Changed Father's Will To Rescue Failing Casinos: NYT Report

NYT Profiles Donald Trump's History In NYC, Atlantic City

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On Tuesday, The New York Times published an in-depth look at President Donald Trump’s financial past, which included time as a casino owner in Atlantic City.

According to the report, Trump in the early 2000s decided to sell off his late father’s roughly $1 billion New York real estate empire for hundreds of millions less than it was worth. The proceeds were used in part to rescue his failing casino business.

Trump famously said in the lead-up to the 2016 election that he cashed out of Atlantic City with $10 billion in gains. In reality, Trump’s casino business struggled from the get-go. He reportedly injected $55 million of his own money into Atlantic City at the request of creditors.

Fred Trump’s empire, in fact, was continuing to produce healthy profits, and selling contradicted his stated wish to keep his legacy in the family. But Donald Trump insisted that the real estate market had peaked and that the time was right, according to a person familiar with the meeting. He was also, once again, in financial trouble. His Atlantic City casinos were veering toward another bankruptcy. His creditors would soon threaten to oust him unless he committed to invest $55 million of his own money. Yet if Donald Trump’s sudden push to sell stunned the room, it met with no apparent resistance from his siblings. He directed his brother to solicit private bids, saying he wanted the sale handled quickly and quietly.

Trump was able to reap $737.9 million in total sales from unloading his father’s real estate holdings. The Times reported: “The banks financing Mr. Schron’s purchase valued Fred Trump’s empire at nearly $1 billion. In other words, Donald Trump, master dealmaker, sold his father’s empire for hundreds of millions less than it was worth.”

The struggling Trump Taj Mahal, which Trump had dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world,” at one point in time needed at least $1 million a day just to cover its debt.

These days, Trump’s brand is no longer in Atlantic City. The Trump Taj Mahal closed in 2016 and reopened this summer under different ownership and a different brand.