It’s not everyday The New York Times undercuts its own Trump-Russia saga by admitting that there’s no evidence President Donald Trump owes money to Russia.
In a shocking story headlined “No, There Isn’t Evidence That Trump Owes Money to Russia,” Times Business Investigations Editor David Enrich wrote: “Lately, liberals and other social media accounts have been spreading rumors, presented as fact, that [Trump] owes [money] to the Kremlin or Russian oligarchs.” The rumors, according to Enrich, “don’t hold up.”
The rumors, according to Enrich, were based on The Times report on Trump’s tax returns. This would appear to undercut earlier speculation by The New York Times Editorial Board (The Editorial Board) in a 2017 piece headlined “The Trump-Russia Nexus.” In that piece, The Editorial Board attempted to connect Trump’s business dealings to the Russians. But here’s the kicker: “The world would know much more about Mr. Trump’s foreign partnerships if he had released his tax returns, as every president has done for the last 40 years.” [Emphasis added.]
Apparently, since The Times claimed that it finally obtained Trump’s tax returns, it turns out that portion of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory apparatus didn’t exactly pan out.
Enrich documented some of the false theories liberals had been pushing on Trump’s tax returns. According to one “conspiracy theory,” said Enrich, “Deutsche Bank agreed to make the loans because they were backstopped by Russians — the Kremlin or a state-owned bank or an oligarch.” The theory stipulated that “If Mr. Trump were to default, it would be the Russians, not Deutsche Bank, on the hook for the losses.”
Enrich outlined another false theory: “[A]fter Deutsche Bank made the loans, it sold chunks of them to Russians. It is common for large loans to be syndicated or securitized — in other words, chopped up and sold to investors. In the late 1990s through the mid-2000s, Deutsche Bank did this with some of its large loans to Mr. Trump.” The theory suggests that “the president would owe the money to Russians, not the German bank.”
But, to reiterate Enrich, “the theories don’t hold up.”
Enrich summarized: “Deutsche Bank didn’t chop up and sell the latest batch of debt — the only portion that is still outstanding, according to bank officials with direct knowledge of the transactions. The loans remain on Deutsche Bank’s books.”
In August, Times Washington correspondent Michael Schmidt compained on NBC’s Today: “[A]s we head into the election here, from the public standpoint, there still has never been a full accounting of the president's ties to Russia.” To Schmidt’s chagrin, his own paper conceded that there just isn’t any evidence Trump owes money to Russia.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact The New York Times at 800-698-4637 and demand it stop promoting Trump-Russia conspiracy theories.