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26 Apr, 2020 07:33

Politico has to correct its article as report about Trump ‘owning millions’ to Bank of China denied by… Bank of China

Politico has to correct its article as report about Trump ‘owning millions’ to Bank of China denied by… Bank of China

Apparently in a rush to expose a sinister link between US President Donald Trump and Beijing, Politico reported that Trump has an outstanding debt to the Bank of China, only to quietly correct itself after the bank spoke out.

In its “scoop” on Friday, Politico reported that Trump’s real estate partner, Vornado Realty Trust, which has a 70 percent majority stake in the skyscraper at New York’s 1290 Avenue of Americas, sought a loan in 2012 to refinance the property.

Around $211 million from a nearly $1 billion loan came from the Bank of China, which, according to Politico, was due in 2022 – meaning Trump, whose organization still owes 30 percent of the building, could have faced a potential conflict of interest drama right before the election. 

The ‘bombshell’ was quickly picked up on Twitter, with former spokesperson for President Barack Obama and the National Security Council Tommy Vietor calling it nothing short of a “blockbuster story on Trump’s deep financial debt to China.” Washington Post Global Opinions contributing columnist Isaac Stone Fish tweeted that “a massive scandal” should follow, describing the supposed loan deal as “an astonishingly huge conflict of interest with China.”

Among those promoting the story was Andrew Bates, the rapid response director for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, who drew a link between Trump’s praise for China’s coronavirus response (per CNN) and him reportedly owing Beijing “tens of millions.”

Having a president owing the nation’s main adversary millions of dollars might be truly unbecoming. However, there is a catch. A day after Politico published its “investigative” piece, it was forced to quietly amend the article… after it was refuted by the Bank of China itself.

“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,” Politico says in an updated version of the article, with its headline now reading “Trump owed tens of millions to Bank of China” instead of far more clickbait sounding “Trump owes tens of millions to the Bank of China — and the loan is due soon.”

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Providing details on how it handled the loan eight years ago, the bank said that “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.

Now, Politico has to face “incompetence” accusations, as the story has sparked backlash online.

“How about calling the Bank of China before you write the story? The entire premise changes because of this incompetence,” a commenter noted.

“The presidential election is only 6 months away. Does this count as election disinformation?” Jack Posobiec inquired in a tweet.

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