The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which was scrutinizing the company’s finances, reportedly attempted to “flip” Weisselberg as part of its investigation.
During the 2015 deposition, Weisselberg answered questions about how much he knew about potential wrongdoing the company, the Daily News reported. He was “eavesdropping” on some legal-related conversations but backed away, the report said.
He reportedly said: “Throughout all of our entities, people do know it’s important to involve me when it comes to financial matters because later on if things don’t prove out to be where they should be, they’ll have to deal with me on answering the question as to why.”
Insider has reached out to The Trump Organization for comment.
It’s not only his political career that has been hit by former president Donald Trump’s plummeting reputation. His businesses will suffer, too.
This is the view of PR expert Eric Schiffer, who told Insider that by becoming the enemy of the people, Trump will destroy any revenue potential his brand could have had. He called it a “modern-day brand suicide.”
“There will be blood against his economic possibilities,” he added.
Trump’s businesses were already struggling
Trump boasts a business empire of roughly 500 ventures, which he controls through the Trump Organization. It includes 10 hotels and 19 golf courses alongside residential buildings, resorts, and restaurants across North America, Asia, and Europe. He has also had a career on TV, earning almost $200 million for his starring role in “The Apprentice.”
But even before the tumultuous events of 2021, in which the House of Representatives impeached him over accusations that he incited a resurrection, his businesses’ revenues were already tumbling.
The Trump branding was likely detracting people from visiting the attractions, Mark Levine, former chair of the city’s parks and recreation committee, told Insider. He called the Trump Organization’s connections with the four businesses “a stain on the city.”
“I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they just can’t bear to go to Wollman Ice Rink or the Central Park Carousel because of [Trump’s] association with it,” Levine explained.
The Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) of America canceled an event due to be held at a Trump-owned golf clubs in 2015 after the then-presidential candidate referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and people who are “bringing crime and bringing drugs.”
Then his reputation fell further
According to Schiffer, Trump already had a low reputation because of his COVID-19 mismanagement, racist comments, and baseless claims of voter fraud, thanks in part to his miscalculation that “chaos could lead to continued power.”
In the days after the Capitol siege, Trump’s reputation fell even further.
But political donations aren’t the only way companies give money to politicians. When politicians double up as businesspeople, like Trump, companies can essentially be funding them by spending money at their enterprises.
In response, companies have been cutting their business ties with Trump, too.
Trump still has a small group of dedicated supporters – but they won’t be enough to keep his businesses going. His loyalists “were not in many ways his core buyers,” Schiffer told Insider, noting that “many are not of high income.”
Members are even quitting Mar-a-Lago because it has become a sad and dispirited place since Trump moved in, according to the author of a book on the luxury Florida resort Trump bought in 1985.
Trump may be able to monetize from his MAGA crowd in other ways, Schiffer said, such as creating a blog or newsletter or holding ticketed events, but these won’t make up for the revenues lost through his hotels, restaurants, and golf clubs.
“Trump will exit the presidency with a brutal set of targets surrounding the heart of his brand, which will be a danger to his survival economically and that of his children, and likely will lead to excruciating pain of the type he has really never faced,” he added.
His political supporters will struggle, too
It’s not just Trump who will suffer economically following his COVID-19 mismanagement, election fraud misinformation, and actions in the run-up to the Capitol siege, Schiffer believes.
It’s likely his supporters from his time in office will feel the financial implications, too.
“Those individuals are going to be in crisis,” Schiffer told Insider. “There is a movement to ensure that those that were tied to Trump are suffocated economically and do not get any opportunities.”
Schiffer said: “Many mainstream employers will look at anyone who worked with Trump at the White House like they are hiring the Black death.” These employers wouldn’t allow Trump’s supporters to receive a paycheck with their brand name on, he added.
“Cutting funding hits these politicians where it hurts,” Donald Hambrick, a professor of management at Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, said. “I think senators are gonna be squirming.”