Politico walks back hit piece on President Trump and China, now it’s Joe Biden’s turn

In its never-ending rush to ‘get’ President Donald Trump, Politico published a story late last week that was so wrong it’s now been ‘updated’ — corrected — twice.

Under the headline, “Trump owes tens of millions to the Bank of China – and the loan is due soon,” the story claimed that the president is indebted to the Bank of China for a loan taken in 2012 on a real estate venture in New York City in which the Trump Organization held a substantial, albeit minor, interest.

The story began:

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, 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.

And while the president still owns a share in the Manhattan property, there is no longer any link to the Bank of China — part one of Politico’s incorrect reporting.

After the story was published, the news site received a statement from a Bank of China rep, which had not been contacted beforehand, informing Politico that the institution sold off its interest in the deal years ago:

A spokeswoman said the bank has no current financial interest in any Trump Organization properties. We updated the body of the article to take account of the bank’s statement. The original headline was changed to “Trump owed tens of millions to the Bank of China.”

“Owed” the bank money isn’t the same as “owes” the bank money, is it?

But Politico said there was a separate “unresolved discrepancy” involving the story. Specifically, the site referenced a 2017 document that had been filed by the servicer of the original loan, Wells Fargo, with the New York Department of Finance. It listed China as having a financial interest in the Avenue of the Americas property.

The record, known as a UCC3, claimed that China “secured” an interest in the building’s fixtures in case of loan default. The document is reportedly valid until 2022 when the loan comes due (hence the tie-in to Trump’s second term).

On Monday, Wells Fargo confirmed to Politico that the Bank of China was listed as a creditor on the building by mistake — the second major problem with the original story.


Biden peddled Politico’s story in an interview with CBS4 on Monday (Entire video at end).

“And talk about business dealings – look at the business dealings the president has with China,” Biden said. “He owes, apparently, millions of dollars to the Bank of China. He’s got patents, I mean this is all about whether or not we’re gonna be able to coexist with the largest and biggest population of the world and make sure we’re the one that sets the standards…”

“Bank of China said Wells Fargo is taking steps to correct the record with an updated filing,” the news site said in an editorial listing the corrections.

To Politico’s credit, the news outlet said it reached out to the White House and the Trump Organization for comment but did not get a response. Still, after years of scrutinizing the president’s prior business dealings and coming up empty, doesn’t a responsible news outlet have to conclude at some point that he’s been careful through the years to ensure that every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed, just so he doesn’t get into legal trouble? And wouldn’t Trump have thought all of this through before he decided to run for president?

In any event, in terms of China specifically, Democrats and their media allies know that their 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has a ‘China’ problem of his own — as a vice-presidential conduit for his ‘businessman’ son, Hunter Biden, and as a long-time ‘friend’ of the country, as noted recently by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)

Interestingly, Biden has hit Trump recently for being “too soft” on China — despite the president’s tariffs, tough trade stance, and beefed-up military presence in Asia specifically to counter China’s rise. 

But that accusation is as fake as the original allegations contained in Politico’s hit piece.

Watch Biden’s full interview with CBS4 below:


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Jon Dougherty


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