Reprinted from Capitol Hill Blue
Since his unpredictable rise to the top of the once-crowded field of Republican Presidential wannabes, those who shake their head in despair have frequently predicted his political demise, buried under the collapsing house of cards that illustrates his carefully crafted "brand."
Each prediction, to date, has proved wrong as gullible Trumpites flock around in the latest celebrity-driven orgy of greed and lust.
But Trump's pursuit of a Presidency he neither deserves or should achieve is coming apart as more and more details of his questionable business antics and fraudulent activities emerge.
Disclosures this week of the flagrant drive to bury people who can't afford it into thousands of dollars in debt through his illegal, immoral and outright con called Trump University show Trump, the flashy "billionaire" may be a man who is barely hanging on in a con game of a debt-ridden, failed businessman who is one-step away from losing it all.
Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, says the past week alone shows Trump is a desperate man who is trying to manipulate his presidential run into a last-gap for financial survival.
Some people who have real money have been whispering for months that Trump is nowhere as rich as he claims and is debt up to his ass, paying overdue bills with money raised in fraudulent schemes like "Trump University" and by turning a run for President into an endless "infomercial" to hawk his "brand" by even using campaign press conferences to promote his wine, his steaks, water and even playing cards.
Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, described by Drezner as "a real billionaire," told WABC radio in New York this week that he doubts Trump is worth anywhere near what he claims and may not even be a billionaire. Cuban is not alone. Forbes Magazine, which keeps track of who earns what among the high-dollar types, puts Trump's net worth far below what he claims.
Cuban says Trump's branding stunts is "more a reflection of desperation" by a bad businessman in need of money fast.
"I asked, 'What the hell are you doing?' Are you that desperate for money?'" Cuban said.
In close examination of Trump's filings with the FEC, Cuban said:
"Before all the Trumpians jump on me on who has more money, the reason I know is when you file your federal election campaign reports, you have to list all your cash and liquid securities and bonds. You have to list them one by one. So we know without any question that as of May 27, Donald doesn't have more than $165 million in cash and securities and bonds. I've got a lot of more than that in cash, securities, and bonds, And so you know, I'm willing to bet dimes against dollars that that's pretty much what he's got."
Drezner suggests Trump is failing in so many areas of his business "empire" that he has turned to running for President as a last gasp.
"Yes, it is sad. Trump is using his presidential campaign to try to counteract reversals he might be suffering in the business world," Drezner wrote Thursday in The Washington Post. "But anyone who thinks that Trump would not use the vast powers of the presidency to advance his own business interests is delusional. Trump's behavior over the past few days raises a disturbing scenario; that he intends to use the power of the presidency to arrest any slide in his business enterprises."
He concludes his observations with:
"I don't know why Donald Trump decided to run for president in the first place. But I'm beginning to wonder if his motivation to win now is less about making America great again and more about avoiding yet another Trump bankruptcy."