Politico, a liberal inside-the Beltway publication, is under fire for leaving up a story that turned out to be completely false.
“Trump owes tens of millions to Bank of China,” the website created by two former Washington Post reporters blared on Saturday.
Now the headline has been changed and says, “Trump owed tens of millions to Bank of China.”
Huh. “Owes” or “owed”?
And the editors there have added this to the piece: “This article and headline were updated to include comment from the Bank of China and additional reporting.”
Despite being riddled with errors, the editors did not point each of the corrections they made, nor did they simply kill the erroneous piece.
Here’s the whole top of the Politico story, which has clearly been heavily edited:
Donald Trump is warning “China will own the United States” if Joe Biden is elected president.
But Trump himself has taken on debt from China. In 2012, his real estate partner refinanced one of Trump’s most prized New York buildings for almost $1 billion. The debt included $211 million from the state-owned Bank of China — its first loan of this kind in the U.S. — which matures in the middle of what could be Trump’s second term.
Steps from Trump Tower in Manhattan, the 43-story 1290 Avenue of the Americas skyscraper spans an entire city block. Trump owns a 30 percent stake in the property valued at more than $1 billion, making it one of the priciest addresses in his portfolio, according to his financial disclosures.
Trump’s ownership of the building received a smattering of attention before and after his 2016 campaign. But the arrangement with the Bank of China in 2012 has gone largely unnoticed. The questions surrounding Trump’s ties to the Bank of China come as his campaign is claiming that Biden would be a gift to the Communist country and America’s chief economic rival.
After the first version of this article was published, the Bank of China issued a statement Friday evening stating that it sold its debt on the building weeks after the 2012 loan on the property. Vornado Realty Trust owns 70 percent of the building.
“On November 7, 2012 several financial institutions including the Bank of China participated in a commercial mortgage loan of $950 million to Vornado Realty Trust,” said Peter Reisman, managing director and chief communications officer of Bank of China U.S.A. “Within 22 days, the loan was securitized and sold into the [commercial mortgage-backed securities] market, as is a common practice in the industry. Bank of China has not had any ownership interest in that loan since late November 2012.”
Wow. What a mess.
The garbage article didn’t get past Team Trump.
Entire Premise of Politico’s Bank of China ‘Bombshell’ Proven False,” the campaign said. ” Another massive media fail – why do these mistakes always go only one way?
Here’s the entire statement from the campaign, with links.
For four years, the same thing has happened over and over: the media publishes a negative report about President Trump, claiming it’s a bombshell. But soon the story falls apart. A clarification and edits are made, and another massive media fail is swept under the rug. Aggregated stories that ran with the original false report are never corrected.
It happened again Friday. Politico reported that President Trump “himself” owed millions of dollars to the Bank of China, and the bill was scheduled to come due “in the middle of what could be Trump’s second term.”
That was entirely false – Donald Trump was never the borrower – but the story has since fallen apart even further. Politico has changed its story to reflect the fact that the Bank of China’s involvement was limited to 22 days in 2012. In other words, eight years ago, a private citizen and international businessman’s business was a passive minority investor in a limited partnership that owned a New York City building that was refinanced with a loan from a consortium of banks, and three weeks later the Bank of China no longer had any ownership interest in the loan. Quite a scoop, guys!
This means the entire point of Politico’s false story – that President Trump was in debt to the Chinese – was wrong. The story is now gutted given the significant “clarification,” but it should have been retracted completely.
A retraction, though, would not serve Politico’s original purpose for printing the false story: provide cover for Joe Biden’s son Hunter getting a sweet deal from the Bank of China right after flying to China on Air Force Two with his father the Vice President, a trip on which Hunter arranged for his Chinese business partner to meet the VP.
There is no comparison, and there never will be. President Trump – and his children – were successful business people before he ran for president. Hunter Biden was never successful at anything – he had only one thing going for him, and it was his last name. That’s why he got a job with a credit card company based in Delaware that was a big supporter of Joe Biden’s political career. That’s why he was handed gigs at the U.S. Commerce Department and the Amtrak board and worked as a lobbyist in between. That’s why he got special waivers to join a special U.S. Navy Reserve staff program. And that’s why a shady Ukrainian fossil fuels company and China threw potentially billions of dollars at him while Joe Biden was Vice President.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer claims Hunter stepped down from the board of the Chinese private equity firm, but Hunter still apparently holds a financial stake in it.
Perhaps the media could look into that?