Even Deutsche Bank — one of the final financial institutions willing to back Donald Trump — reportedly turned down the president when he needed a loan.
David Enrich, Jesse Drucker, and Ben Protess reported in the New York Times Saturday that while Trump was burning through cash in 2016 to self-finance his presidential campaign, he needed additional funds to keep his business growing. According to three unnamed sources familiar with the situation, Trump’s long-time financial backer took the rare move of turning him down:
Senior officials at the bank, including its future chief executive, believed that Mr. Trump’s divisive candidacy made such a loan too risky, the people said. Among their concerns was that if Mr. Trump won the election and then defaulted, Deutsche Bank would have to choose between not collecting on the debt or seizing the assets of the president of the United States.
Two of the people familiar with the loan request said the Trump Organization had been seeking to borrow against its Miami resort to pay for work on a golf property in Turnberry, Scotland.
A spokesperson for the Trump Organization called the report “absolutely false” and denied that the organization didn’t have the cash to finance the renovations at the Scottish resort. But as the Times notes, the organization isn’t denying that it sought out the loan.
Deutsche Bank is infamously one of the few banks still willing to lend Trump and his associates money. According to The Times, the total tally of Deutsche-backed loans over the last 17 years adds up to more than $2.5 billion. The financial institution also has ties to Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor Jared Kushner, who finalized a $285 million loan for a refinancing package for his family’s property in Times Square.
There are rumors that special counsel Robert Mueller has his eye on Deutsche, and that his office has reportedly asked for information and financial transactions made by Trump and members of his inner circle. The White House denies reports that Mueller has subpoenaed Trump’s bank records from Deutsche. But if Mueller hasn’t issued subpoenas, House Democrats say they will.
Reps. Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff, both California Democrats, have promised to compel Deutsche to hand over Trump’s financial records to investigate whether the president’s business dealings indicate any foreign entities are influencing him. Meanwhile, top Democrats in the Senate are pressuring Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID) to open a full investigation in Deutsche Bank’s compliance history and money-laundering vulnerabilities.
As Vox’s Emily Stewart has outlined extensively, even outside the bank’s dealings with Trump, Deutsche Bank has its fair share of business dealings with government officials that seem a bit shady at best. Bank officials have yet to comment on the recent report about Trump’s loan. But after nearly two decades of working with Trump, maybe Deutsche has finally reached their limit with him.