“Americans should be concerned about the president’s debt because it’s a national security risk for our country,” said Donald Sherman, deputy director of the nonprofit government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “This is information that the president has aggressively and repeatedly tried to keep away from the public.”
Trump, citing an ongoing Internal Revenue Service audit, has refused to follow the post-Watergate precedent set by other presidents of releasing his tax returns, so the complexities of his financial interests and who he does business with have remained opaque. He’s fighting ongoing court battles with New York’s attorney general, Manhattan’s district attorney and two House committees who want the records.
Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics attorney in Republican George W. Bush’s White House, also noted that Trump-owned companies have declared bankruptcy six times, raising the question: Why have lenders been willing to keep risking loans of such enormous amounts?
“Why would banks assume the risk on these loans?” Painter said. “Or did someone else quietly assume risk of that loan for the bank to make it happen?”