Leading up to the Hofstra presidential debate, the first between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there remain a number of questions left unanswered by the Republican nominee, questions that the Democratic nominee settled long ago.
With 53 days remaining until U.S. citizens are asked to make a decision between Clinton, Trump, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein, somehow Donald Trump has been able to close in on Hillary Clinton in four-way national poll averages, which show each at 41.9 and 40.8 percent respectively, as reported by Real Clear Politics, while leaving what many observers feel are important questions unanswered.
There are questions that Donald Trump appears to feel no obligation to answer. Six of these are presented here, which would seem to deserve to be, and likely are, at the top of not only Hillary Clinton’s but also moderators Chris Matthews’, Martha Raddatz’s, Anderson Cooper’s, and Lester Holt’s presidential debate preparation for September 26 in Hempstead, New York; October 9 in Farmville, Missouri; and October 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada, as reported by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
1. What Is Donald Trump’s Actual Net Worth And Annual Income?
Something that might be impossible for anyone to nail down, even Donald Trump himself, is his exact net worth. However, the topic would be one that would seem ripe for discussion at the Hofstra debate and those following.
Trump is reported to claim that his net worth is near $10 billion. Forbes pins the number at $4.5 billion.
Cenk Uygur with The Young Turks has stated that he believes Donald Trump’s actual net worth could be less than $1 billion and his annual income less than $500,000.
The TYT host’s claim about what would seem to be a low income for someone reporting a net worth near $10 billion, given that 1 percent interest on $10 billion would earn $100 million each year, 200 times more, was said to be backed up by Donald Trump’s New York State property tax filings, said to include evidence of his participation in the state School Tax Relief Program.
The program is said to include a requirement that married participants have a combined income of less than $500,000 annually.
“There is only one of two possibilities,” Uygur stated with regard to Trump’s reported involvement in the tax program. “One is, you’re enormously full of crap. You’re not anywhere as near as rich as you say you are. Or, number two, you’re committing fraud. Which one is it Donald Trump?”
Americans have a good idea of Hillary Clinton’s net worth because she has released both disclosure into her corporatist, though transparent, financial dealings, hosted with Open Secrets, as well as her tax returns.
One place that American voters could get a better sense of Donald Trump’s true financial status is from his yet-unreleased tax returns in addition to his almost uncomprehendingly unwieldy financial disclosure, hosted with Open Secrets, which has been suggested add insurmountable potential conflict of interest for a candidate for president of the United States by Newsweek and other media outlets.
2. Why Won’t Donald Trump Release His Tax Returns And Take Questions With Warren Buffett?
The Inquisitr has previously reported on Warren Buffett’s invitation to Donald Trump for both to release their tax returns and take questions from the public.
This is significant because, like Trump, Buffett, the world’s fourth-richest man, claims that he is regularly audited by the Internal Revenue Service. Trump is ranked 324th richest in the world. Up until this point, Trump has balked at making his returns public, stating repeatedly that he can’t because he is being audited.
The $40 million Donald Trump is thought to have inherited in the 1970s would be worth over $200 billion today (more than Buffett’s current net worth) had he only invested in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B) instead of himself.
Observers feel that Trump’s tax returns would shed light on Trump’s annual income, as well as his donations to charity. His lack of transparency on the subject is likely to be highlighted by debate moderators and the Democratic candidate alike over coming weeks.
3. Who Are All Of The Partners Involved In The Hundreds Of LPs, LLCs, And Corporations Listed In Trump’s Financial Disclosure?
“None of Trump’s overseas contractual business relationships examined by Newsweek were revealed in his campaign’s financial filings with the Federal Election Commission, nor was the amount paid to him by his foreign partners,” is what the publication had to say with regard to the financial disclosure filed by Donald Trump at the beginning of his presidential run in June 2015.
The financial disclosure released by Trump is almost baffling in its length and the obscurity of the names of the entities which it lists.
Newsweek has connected these entities to “global financiers, foreign politicians and even criminals,” which it says could jeopardize his ability to make unbiased decisions as president, attaching a seemingly unthinkable profit motive to U.S. foreign policy decisions that may benefit foreign business allies or even punish business adversaries.
Countries in which Trump is thought to have business dealings reported to pose potential conflicts of interest include Turkey, India, South Korea, the French West Indies, the Dominican Republic, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Iran, among others.
During a recent campaign stump speech on behalf of Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama described Trump’s appearance on Larry King’s RT program as an attempt to “curry favor” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Exactly who Donald Trump does business with is almost certain to be a topic of discussion on the Hofstra, and subsequent, presidential debate stages.
4. Was Trump University A Complete Fraud?
Seemingly dozens of questions surrounding Trump University remain unanswered. Most recently, the motivation behind what was deemed an illegal donation by the Trump Foundation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s political campaign, thought by some to be timed suspiciously with her office’s decision not to pursue an investigation into the school, has been called into question.
“Did Donald Trump bribe an attorney general?” Vanity Fair asked with regard to the donation.
Fodder for the Hofstra debate would seem to include this donation, as well as why Trump would allow the organization to be called a university, when it never received that designation from any recognized body.
When asked by CNN’s Don Lemon whether she thought Trump University was a fraud, former student Sheri Winkelmann replied, “absolutely.”
Ms. Winkelmann described paying $1,495 for a three-day introductory seminar with the now-defunct school and being met with resistance when she complained at the end of the first day, citing her concerns that the event was merely a high-priced up-selling exercise.
The former Trump University student was unable to get her initial payment of $1,495 back and reported heavy pressure to enroll in a $34,995 program. Winkelmann stated that representatives of the school asked to see the financial records of students, seemingly ostensibly to ascertain the best course of action for their careers, but really to see which students had the means available to pay $34,995, so efforts could be focused on them
“There was a lot of seniors there, people who had lost money in the stock market… working trying to rebuild their retirement, some husband-wife teams, I partnered up with a soldier, there was a couple of veterans there,” Winkelmann described fellow students at Trump University, some of whom are reported to be pursuing legal action against him.
New York State is currently litigating a $40 million lawsuit against Donald Trump with regard to Trump University, as shown in court documents hosted with the Wall Street Journal. Two lawsuits are also proceeding in federal courts in California, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
“I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself,” Trump was quoted about the judge presiding over his federal lawsuits, as reported by the Indy Star.
Trump has repeatedly made light of Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage and made statements interpreted by some to insinuate that the judge may be unable to impartially preside over the Trump University lawsuits because the candidate has proposed a Mexican border wall.
How Donald Trump could manage three civil lawsuits involving fraud on such a wide scale while serving as president is obviously a potential subject of discussion for a presidential debate.
5. Is The Trump Foundation A Fraud?
The Washington Post, the same publication that has gone so far as to label Donald Trump a “scam artist,” has performed an in-depth analysis of the GOP candidate’s financial disclosure, charitable donations, and his Trump Foundation.
The Clinton Foundation is reported to flow 88 percent of donations through to programs by CharityWatch.org. CharityNavigator.org pegs the number at 86.9 percent. Both watchdogs rate the Clinton Foundation highly. Reviews of the Trump Foundation by independent agencies do not appear to be available.
The Daily Beast reports that together, Bill and Hillary Clinton have donated $22.5 million to the Clinton Foundation since 2001, but that Donald Trump has donated less than $10,000 of his own funds to the Trump Foundation since 2008.
On top of that, Donald Trump is reported to have made donations from his charity to a Florida police association after soliciting the funds, said to total $150,000, from the charitable Evans Foundation. At the same time, Trump is thought to have collected steep rents for events from the police association, which, in later years, amounted to more than $250,000, as reported by the Washington Post.
“Trump had found a way to give away somebody else’s money and claim the credit for himself,” the Washington Post wrote.
6. What Will Happen To Undocumented Immigrants With No Criminal Record If Trump Is Elected?
The Inquisitr has previously reported on how, over the course of two interviews with Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper, both vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and Donald Trump appeared to be unable to explain the fate of what is thought to be millions of undocumented immigrants in the country not falling into the category of being “bad dudes.”
“My first day in office, I am going to notify law enforcement authorities that all of the bad dudes, and we have a lot of them, that are here illegally, that are the heads of gangs, and drug cartels, and all sorts of people,” Trump could be viewed speaking with Anderson Cooper. “They’re out!”
When pressed by Jake Tapper in a later interview, Indiana Governor Mike Pence appeared unable or unwilling to provide an answer with regard to the planned fate of undocumented immigrants with no criminal past.
The Inquisitr has previously reported on the seeming propensity of white nationalists and those with violent ideologies to be drawn to Donald Trump and the virulent language witnessed at Donald Trump rallies.
A statement with regard to “second amendment people” made by Trump was interpreted as threatening to Hillary Clinton by some observers yesterday, as reported by NPR.
“I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons, they should disarm, right? I think they should disarm. Immediately, what do you think? Yeah, take their guns away. She doesn’t want guns. Take their — let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK? It’ll be very dangerous,” went Trump’s seemingly straw-man-creating, absurd statement.
Evidence of Hillary Clinton suggesting that the U.S. Secret Service, charged with protecting presidential candidates, disarm remains elusive.
Suggesting that observers “wait and see what happens” to Clinton has been interpreted as Trump wishing the Democratic candidate ill-will.
The affinity of seeming hate groups for Donald Trump, as well as his use of what is perceived as violent and threatening imagery, such as the other issues listed here, would seem to be material the GOP nominee will be thoroughly grilled on over the coming weeks by the mainstream media, debate moderators, and Hillary Clinton herself.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]