But Trump also said he didn’t review the appraisals or anything, really, pertaining to the insurance claim. Instead, he told my lawyers, he left all of those details to a Trump Organization executive, Matthew Calamari. (Trump was being deposed as part of a libel lawsuit he filed against me for a 2005 biography I wrote, “TrumpNation”; Trump lost the suit in 2011.)
In 2016, the Associated Press scoured Palm Beach property records for damage reports, interviewed the adjuster who assessed Trump’s insurance claim, met with the man who oversaw Mar-a-Lago and spoke with several former Palm Beach officials about possible hurricane damage to the club. There was “little evidence” of “large-scale damage,” the AP concluded. When the AP wrote about Trump’s club again in 2017, it noted that “strikes by four major hurricanes have done little damage to Mar-a-Lago in the 90 years since” it was built.
Questions about the president’s dealings with insurers and banks over the years occupy center stage again. Last week, Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified that the president provided inflated valuations of his assets to insurers.