Although President Trump has had a troubled relationship with big commercial lenders over the years, financial disclosure forms filed recently suggest he’s still able to borrow money when he needs it.
While Trump’s debts appear to be easily outweighed by his assets, government ethics experts say any sizable debt represents a potential conflict of interest for a president.
“It’s so profound that, actually, when I was working for President Obama, we wouldn’t even let him refinance his modest home in Chicago, because of the appearance of conflict,” says former White House ethics adviser Norman Eisen, currently a fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Records released Friday suggest that Trump holds mortgages of at least $50 million on Trump Tower, the office building known as 40 Wall Street and the luxury resort Trump National Doral Miami. He also owes millions of dollars on other properties in Chicago, Florida and Washington, D.C.
Trump has had an on-again, off-again relationship with major lenders, alternating periods of lavish borrowing with bankruptcies.
When he first emerged from Queens in…