Trump: I Help Myself Before I Help Others


Hillary Clinton gave a big speech today laying out the case that Donald Trump is a lousy businessman. Trump’s counterargument, as usual, is that bankruptcy laws are there to be used, and anyway, only four out of his hundreds of companies have ever gone bankrupt. Oddly enough, this is actually true—but only in a hypertechnical sense, not in any sense that actually matters.

The real story is that he went enormously into debt in the late 80s, did a lousy job of running his casinos, and went completely bust. He only avoided personal bankruptcy because his creditors decided it was better to put him on a strict allowance and keep him on the team that liquidated his assets. When Trump finally recovered, no one would loan him money anymore, so he suckered the public into doing it. His shiny new publicly-traded casino company was the only time we ever got a real look at how Trump runs his companies, and it was a disaster. Trump paid himself millions, but the company never made a profit and eventually went under. Mom and pop investors lost everything. If you want all the gory details, Matt Yglesias rounds them up here.

Anyway, this is just a long windup to share with you his campaign’s response to Hillary’s speech:

Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican nominee for president. Makes you feel proud to be an American, doesn’t it?