This week, Trump’s attacking the NFL was perhaps yet another deflection, but it may have come closer to Agent Orange’s self-interest by omission.
It now makes more sense that he seemed to avoid mentioning the storm damage emergency in Puerto Rico,
Quite the opposite … mentioning Puerto Rico tarnishes his brand.
Rather, PR is the site of yet another Trump business failure, and does explain his tweets trashing the banks, infrastructure, and territorial debt.
It is always about him and his money.
When the Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, filed for bankruptcy in July 2015 — just a month after Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign — Trump's family did everything they could to distance themselves from the failed project. "This has absolutely nothing to do with Trump. This is a separate owner. We purely manage the golf course," Eric Trump told Bloomberg at the time.
A Trump company was unable to save a floundering Puerto Rico golf club and resort from bankruptcy after entering into a management and brand licensing agreement with its owners in 2008. As a result of the episode, $32.6 million in government investment was not recouped.
However, one could argue that Trump International received a good deal of money from the Coco Beach deal yet failed to turn the club around, or even stanch its financial bleeding. According to the March 2011 bond offering (which was itself required to cover losses on the Puerto Rican government’s 2000 and 2004 bond investments), Trump International had given certain assurances about the future viability of the resort:
The continued operations of the Partnership are dependant [sic] upon the ability of the Club to attract customers and control operating expenses. Trump International Co. (Club Manager) has developed a plan to achieve and maintain positive operating cash flows sufficient to allow the Partnership to continue as a going concern. In particular, the Club Manager [Trump International] has developed programs to attract members and use the Club, while containing operating costs.
Whatever that plan was, it did not succeed. The 2012 financials show that the club’s average annual losses rose to $6.3 million during the period that Trump’s company provided management services to the resort (2008-2012), $1 million more per year than the business had been losing before. Further, for this lack of success, Trump International garnered a total of $609,607 in management fees between 2008 and 2012. (This figure is likely the source of Lainie Green’s reference to a “$600,000 paycheck” received by Donald Trump.)
Donald Trump did not set Coco Beach Golf and Country Club on course for ruin, but he wasn’t able to save it from that fate. His role in the bankruptcy of the company, which ended up costing Puerto Rican taxpayers $32.6 million, was significant but limited. That $32.6 million loss constituted 0.03 percent of the territory’s total $123 billion debt, which prompted the Puerto Rican government to file for bankruptcy relief in May 2017.