Trump travels from New Jersey to New York City ‘at least once a week’ to work ‘mostly alone’ without attracting much attention: NYT

Former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on May 18, 2021.

  • Trump has been working at his namesake tower “at least once a week,” according to the NYT.
  • The trips to Manhattan have reportedly occurred “without attracting much attention.”
  • He is currently residing at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the summer.
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With former President Donald Trump escaping the Florida heat and temporarily residing at his New Jersey golf club for the summer, trips to Trump Tower are also part of his routine, according to The New York Times.

Trump, a native New Yorker whose business relationships have long been rooted in Manhattan, reportedly commutes from Bedminster to the city “at least once a week,” and comes back and forth “without attracting much attention,” according to The Times.

When Trump descended from an escalator into the lobby of Trump Tower to announce the launch of his successful 2016 presidential campaign, the building accentuated his burgeoning political power to the world.

However, after a tumultuous term in office and a failed reelection campaign last year, the mood is decidedly different in Trump’s longtime business hub.

Many of Trump’s longtime employees are no longer at the company and family members who once worked with the former president in Manhattan are in different locales.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, was once of fixture of the building but has become one of the former president’s highest-profile critics after being investigated and convicted of tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

According to The Times, the former president works “mostly alone” in his Trump Tower office, with two assistants and a small amount of body men.

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

The report also notes that Trump’s political operation has “dwindled to a ragtag team of former advisers who are still on his payroll,” similar to the group that helped him win in 2016.

However, according to The Times, “most of them go days or weeks without interacting with Trump in person.”

As Insider’s Tom LoBianco reported last month, the former president is also “filling his days with endless rounds of golf and emailed tirades against enemies.”

With control of the Republican Party still in his minds, Trump continues to issue political endorsements for allies as he mulls a potential 2024 presidential campaign.

The former president is seemingly downplaying his serious legal woes – New York prosecutors recently convened a grand jury to investigate whether the Trump organization committed financial crimes and the New York attorney general’s office is also conducting criminal investigations into the organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

“This is a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” Trump said in a statement last month. “It began the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower, and it’s never stopped. They wasted two years and $48 million in taxpayer dollars on Mueller and Russia Russia Russia, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and it continues to this day, with illegally leaked confidential information.”

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Trump Tower staff reportedly vaccinated under Chicago program intended to immunize communities of color hardest hit by COVID-19

Trump chicago
A man walks by Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois, on March 21, 2020.

  • Employees at Trump’s Chicago hotel have reportedly been vaccinated under a program meant for hard-hit communities.
  • Illinois is in the 1B phase, which doesn’t include hotel workers.
  • The Chicago Health Department is investigating the incident, Block Club Chicago reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Employees at Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago have been vaccinated for COVID-19 despite the fact hotel employees aren’t yet eligible under the city’s vaccination guidelines, Block Club Chicago reported Tuesday.

The report cited multiple sources that said a vaccination provider came to the tower, located in the River North Gallery District of the city, to provide staff with vaccinations in an event organized by the hotel on March 10.

Illinois is currently in its 1B phase of vaccinations, which includes frontline workers and people aged 65 or older. Hotel workers will be included in Chicago’s 1C phase of vaccinations, expected to begin at the end of March, according to the city’s health department.

The Trump Organization, which owns the hotel, did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

A Trump Tower official said in a document obtained by the non-profit news outlet that the vaccination event occurred after it was contacted by a medical provider with Project Chicago Plus, a program announced in January and meant to target 15 neighborhoods on the city’s south and west sides that have been hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is especially targeted toward the city’s Black and Latinx populations, the city said.

The hotel in downtown Chicago is not in one of the 15 neighborhoods included in the program.

As the outlet noted, some employees at the former president’s hotel may be eligible for the vaccine under the city’s guidelines, including employees who are older than 65 or employees with underlying medical conditions that qualify them to receive the shot.

One resident of Trump Tower told the outlet that several employees had said they’d been vaccinated over the past several months despite not appearing to fit vaccine eligibility criteria. Multiple employees told the outlet they’d been offered a vaccination.

An employee at the hotel’s restaurant told the outlet that vaccines were administered on hotel property.

According to the report, the Chicago Department of Public Health is looking into reports of the vaccination event and said it hadn’t been aware of any such event. Officials for the city of Chicago did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

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Manhattan DA’s probe ramps up, placing new scrutiny on Trump’s debt-ridden New York properties

trump tower debt buildings
Banks have now placed three of the four of former President Donald Trump’s real estate holdings on debt “watch lists,” CBS News said.

  • The Manhattan DA probe into former President Donald Trump is heating up, Insider reported on Friday.
  • The investigation is placing new scrutiny on Trump’s commercial properties.
  • Banks have placed three of the former president’s buildings on debt “watch lists,” CBS News said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s probe into former President Donald Trump steps up a gear, four of Trump’s New York properties have come under renewed scrutiny.

Trump Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower, 40 Wall Street, and Trump Plaza have missed lenders’ earning projections for five consecutive years, CBS News reported.

Banks have now placed three of the four real estate holdings on debt “watch lists,” the media outlet said.

Mortgage-payment processors have flagged the loans tied to these three properties due to consistent financial underperformance, CBS said.

Wells Fargo and other banks have told investors that reduced incomes on these holdings, due partly to the COVID-19 pandemic, could result in the properties not generating enough money to cover their mortgage payments, CBS News reported.

In addition to presenting Trump with financial troubles, investigations into these properties could also pose legal challenges.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has subpoenaed a New York property tax agency as part of the broad criminal probe, Reuters reported. Prosecutors are looking for signs of possible fraud, the media outlet said.

While Vance’s sprawling probe’s exact scope is not known, court filings suggest that he could be looking into whether Trump and the Trump Organization violated New York laws by manipulating the values of these commercial properties for tax and loan purposes.

The wide-ranging investigation into whether Trump or his businesses violated state tax laws could be reaching its conclusion imminently, Insider reported on Friday.

John Dean, President Richard Nixon’s White House counsel who played a major role in the Watergate scandal, said on Twitter that Trump could be indicted in just a matter of days.

“From personal experience as a key witness, I assure you that you do not visit a prosecutor’s office 7 times if they are not planning to indict those about whom you have knowledge,” Dean’s tweet said.

This refers to Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, meeting with prosecutors for the seventh time this week. His latest meeting lasted for over two hours, NBC News reported.

Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to several felonies, has previously testified to Congress about Trump’s alleged financial mismanagement. In the 2019 testimony, Cohen said that Trump had manipulated the value of assets “when it served his purposes.”

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New York prosecutors reportedly expanding criminal probe into Trump loans for his Manhattan properties

Trump Tower
People walk past the Trump Tower as the impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins in Washington on February 09, 2021 in New York City.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is expanding its ongoing investigation into the financial dealings of former President Donald Trump relating to loans taken out on his flagship New York properties, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. 

According to the report, which cited sources familiar with the investigation, the new portions of the probe are related to loans to Trump by subsidiaries of New York City-based real estate investment trust Ladder Capital Corp. A $100 million loan on Trump Tower is due next year while other loans are due in the coming years, the report said.

The trust has lent the former president over $280 million for his four Manhattan properties since 2012, the report noted. The properties involved in the probe include Trump Tower, 40 Wall St., Trump International Hotel and Tower, Trump Plaza, all located in Manhattan. New York prosecutors are also investigating the Trump Organization’s Seven Springs property in Westchester County, according to the report.

Read more: Inside the glitzy, fractured world of Palm Beach, where Trump’s Mar-a-Lago move rankles locals but the wealthy are fighting over mansions anyway

It’s unclear exactly what the probe relates to, but experts told the Wall Street Journal that it may concern possible discrepancies with loan documents and financial information submitted on other documents, like his tax returns, according to the report.

The Manhattan DA’s office Saturday declined an Insider request to confirm the WSJ’s reporting.

As Insider previously reported, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are leading investigations into Trump’s personal finances and the finances of the Trump Organization.

Last year, Vance, a Democrat who this year faces a battle for reelection, won a Supreme Court ruling that confirmed he was able to obtain Trump’s tax returns and other financial documents, but Trump appealed the ruling again on different grounds. The Supreme Court has not said whether it plans to hear the former president’s second appeal.

Trump has called Vance’s investigation a “witch hunt,” while his lawyers called it a “fishing expedition,” as the Wall Street Journal noted Saturday. The Trump Organization did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Trump and his eponymous organization are under new scrutiny now that he is out of office. A Chicago judge earlier in February ruled that his Chicago hotel violated an environmental protection law for several years by improperly using water from the Chicago River to cool the building without the proper permit. 

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Trump shifted campaign donor funds into his heavily indebted private business after his election loss, report says

trump organization campaign money
Former President Donald Trump has shifted money from campaign donors into his personal businesses, Forbes reported.

  • Former President Donald Trump has shifted money raised from campaign donors into the Trump Organization.
  • The organization is heavily indebted, reportedly owing around $400 million.
  • Campaign donor money was moved both before and after Trump’s election loss, reported Forbes.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former President Donald Trump has shifted money raised from campaign donors into the Trump Organization, according to documents from the Federal Election Committee (FEC) seen by Forbes.

He moved around $2.8 million into his private businesses throughout the duration of his presidency, Forbes’s Dan Alexander reported.

Trump funneled an additional $81,000 into the Trump Organization after his election loss, the magazine said.

The payments were made public in the filings the campaign submitted to the FEC and were liest to cover costs including rent, airfare, lodging, and other expenses.

One of the campaign’s joint-fundraising committees, associated with the Republican Party, also moved an estimated $4.3 million of donor money into his private business during his presidential term, according to Forbes.

Read more: 10 huge hits to Trump’s business from the pandemic that may be permanent.

The joint-fundraising committee also paid around $300,000 towards Trump’s hotel chain in the week following the former president’s election loss, the Independent reported.

Around $40,000 was handed over from the campaign to Trump Tower Commercial LLC, a company which the former president owns a stake in, in December, the paper said.

This isn’t the first time it has been reported that Trump transferred campaign money to his private businesses.

In July, The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold reported that Trump’s campaign sent nearly $400,000 to the Trump Organization in just two days.

Documents showed that the campaign channeled $380,000 to the president’s personal business in 43 transactions, Fahrenthold said.

This comes when the former president is said to be looking for ways to cash in on his post-presidency to address potentially huge debt.

The Trump Organization owes $400 million, according to Forbes.

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Former Trump Organization VP: Trump said he didn’t ‘want people thinking Trump Towers are being built by Black people’

trump thanksgiving
President Trump is seen at the White House on November 26, 2020.

  • Barbara Res, a real estate executive who worked for President Donald Trump, said he once complained to her about seeing a Black construction laborer working on one of his Trump Tower buildings.
  • “I don’t want people thinking Trump Towers are being built by Black people,” Res said Trump told her.
  • Trump also said he didn’t want Black people lounging in his building lobbies, according to Res. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A real estate executive who worked at the Trump Organization said President Donald Trump once complained about seeing a Black construction laborer working on one of his buildings.  

“I never want to see that again,” Trump said, according to former Trump Organization vice president Barbara Res, who appeared on a Daily Beast podcast

“I don’t want people thinking Trump Towers are being built by Black people,” Trump told Res.

Trump also said he didn’t want Black people lounging in his building lobbies, according to Res. “Millionaires are coming into my apartment,” she claimed Trump once told her. 

Neither the White House nor the Trump Organization immediately responded to Business Insider’s requests for comment. 

Res, who oversaw construction and development for the Trump Organization, is the author of a book called “Tower of Lies: What My Eighteen Years of Working With Donald Trump Reveals About Him.

In an interview with Business Insider last month, Res said Trump refused to listen to expert advice, hired unqualified people based on how loyal to him they appeared, disrespected his employees, and used racist language.

Once Res invited a Black man to interview for a clerk position under her. The man waited in the Trump Tower lobby before the interview began. Trump called her into his office after the man left, she told Business Insider. 

“I went in to see Donald and he was livid,” Res said, adding that he shouted at her.

“Don’t you ever do that again,” she said he told him. “Don’t ever do that again. I don’t want Black kids sitting in my lobby where millionaires are coming in to buy apartments.”

Over the near four years of Trump’s presidency, reporters and family members have documented and shared other examples of racist language he’s used in the past. 

Trump’s niece, Mary, for example, said in July that her family frequently used racist and anti-Semitic slurs when she was younger.

“Growing up, it was sort of normal to hear them use the N-word or use anti-Semitic expressions,” she said in an interview with the Washington Post.

Trump as president has often referred to the coronavirus, which originated in China, as the “kung flu.”  

And two years ago, Trump referred to a group of African nations as “shithole countries.” After this comment, African leaders decided he was racist. Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa’s governing African National Congress, said his remarks were “really, really derogatory, and highly offensive.” And Nigeria’s foreign minister called his remarks “deeply hurtful, offensive and unacceptable.”

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