As Trump backs down from his “Stop the Steal” hoax, the supporters he radicalized are vowing to carry on the fight without him.
- U.S.The Telegraph
Brad Vercosa has passed Jimmy’s Sport Shop in Mineola, Long Island countless times, but last Thursday he approached the counter, still in his slippers, to buy his first gun. The construction company owner is one of nearly five million Americans who have purchased their first firearm over the past 12 months, driving what analysts are calling the greatest gun-buying spree in the country’s history. The seeds were sown with the onset of the pandemic last spring, and grew in response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations and pro-Trump rallies over the summer. But for many of Jimmy Gong’s customers in Mineola – a suburban village 20 miles east of the skyscrapers of Manhattan – the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump demonstrators on January 6 was the inflection point. The following day is one of the busiest Gong, 46, can remember, even accounting for a 150 per cent rise in demand. And he expects business to keep booming. After Donald Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday, the FBI warned of possible armed protests and “domestic terrorism”, amid reports of armed far-Right groups planning to gather at all 50 state capitals and in Washington DC in the run-up to Joe Biden being sworn in as president.
(Bloomberg) -- On the day Donald Trump was getting impeached in Washington, the lobby of his New York tower at 40 Wall St. was almost silent. Few footsteps smudged the shiny marble.But up the dark and golden elevators, trouble was stirring in one of the billionaire’s most valuable properties. Inside one law office, two partners had clashed over whether to keep paying rent to a landlord who encouraged the Capitol’s deadly riot. On the 24th floor, a nonprofit that fights tuberculosis was exploring options for leaving. On the seventh, the Girl Scouts were figuring out how to break their lease.And in the basement, vintage bank-vault doors that weigh more than 10 tons stood wide open. There, in a club room that Trump renovated, the news was playing on a jumbo television to an audience of empty armchairs just as Congress voted against him.So it goes in Trump’s empire as his presidency slouches toward the end.The Trump Organization, run by sons Eric and Don Jr., was struggling with the devastating consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic even before their father incited a raid on Congress. Efforts to sell his Washington hotel were shelved, his office buildings were losing value amid a glut of space in Manhattan, and his golf courses were facing the reality that younger generations aren’t so interested.Trump entered office worth $3 billion. Despite soaring stock prices and his own tax cuts, he will leave about $500 million poorer, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.His buildings are saddled with more than $1 billion in debt, most of it coming due in the next three years and more than a third of it personally guaranteed. Refinancing would mean finding lenders and corporations willing to work with history’s only twice-impeached ex-president.“Nothing like this has ever happened to him,” said Barbara Res, who was an executive in Trump’s company for years. “Will he come back? My gut tells me yes, because he always comes back. But he won’t come back the same.”Deserted AvenueTrump already has survived corporate bankruptcies, rough times in Atlantic City, a school that ended with probes and dead-end brand journeys for Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka and even an airline. The man who made “America First” his catchphrase could now hunt overseas for partnerships and licensing deals.Even so, Deutsche Bank AG, his longtime financier, won’t touch him anymore. Signature Bank, where his daughter Ivanka once served on the board, is closing his accounts. Cushman & Wakefield Plc, a broker for 40 Wall St., is cutting ties, and PGA of America is steering clear.The biggest hits to Trump’s fortune are in New York, the heart of his empire, where the Queens-born developer turned into a reality star and then descended his own escalator to enter politics.Outside Trump Tower, East 56th Street remains blocked, a parking lot for about a dozen black SUVs with government plates. The building is closed to visitors due to the pandemic, shutting Trump’s grill, bar, cafe and ice cream parlor.Not that there are tourists around for winter sundaes. Fifth Avenue is almost deserted. Vacant storefronts are multiplying, and some remaining boutiques are now appointment-only. Rents have slid 32% from a 2018 peak, according to the Real Estate Board of New York.Trump’s cavernous East 57th Street space is currently subleased to the iconic Tiffany’s jewelry store, but a new tenant will soon be needed.High above, 1,596 square feet of Trumpian extravagance keeps getting cheaper.Apartment 55B, with blue lapis floors and medallion ceilings, is listed for $2.995 million, about $2.5 million less than four years ago. It’s hardly an outlier. Prices at the skyscraper have slipped by a third since Trump took office, StreetEasy data show.And even before the Capitol attack, his company was offering concessions to some tenants at 40 Wall St., lender records show. The $137 million debt at the property was added to lender watch lists in November after net income dipped below what underwriters expected when the debt was issued in 2015.City’s Rejection“I don’t believe his name is going to bring a premium currently,” said Warren A. Estis, founding partner at real estate law firm Rosenberg & Estis and owner of an 86th-floor penthouse at Trump World Tower near the United Nations. Still, Estis said he’s heard no rumblings from his condo board about stripping Trump’s name from the building.“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name is still a rose,” says Estis. “It appears Donald is very resilient and I expect he’s going to bounce back from this.”New York City itself wants nothing to do with Trump. Officials plan to end more than $17 million in contracts with the president’s family business, including a carousel and two ice skating rinks in Central Park and a Bronx golf course.“The City of New York has no legal right to end our contracts and if they elect to proceed, they will owe the Trump Organization over $30 million,” the company said in a statement. “This is nothing more than political discrimination, an attempt to infringe on the First Amendment, and we plan to fight vigorously.”While police officers were keeping the public out of Trump Tower, including its Trump Store, there was also bad news for fans going online to nab Trump pint glasses for $55 or a Trump candle set for $80. Shopify is refusing to service the website, which has left customers with a warning that their connection isn’t private and “attackers might be trying to steal your information.”Not long ago, the big question hovering over Trump’s return to the business world was whether the former reality television host would make a foray into conservative media, where product endorsements and licensing deals are legion. Now the talk in finance circles centers on whether he can defend his existing empire. He’ll have to convince lenders he’s worth the risks, and prove to developers his name retains enough cache.“The presidency and Donald’s racist, sexist and xenophobic language has tarnished the brand to such an extent that it is valueless,” said Michael Cohen, his lawyer-turned-critic.Streaming TrumpEric Trump brushed off such assertions in an interview with the Associated Press this week, blaming “cancel culture” for recent hits to the family empire that he said posed no threat to the company’s finances. His father, he noted, still has armies of fans: “You have a man who would get followed to the ends of the Earth by a hundred million Americans.”One executive in conservative media who’s still bullish on Trump’s prospects for creating a subscription-based video service conceded that recent events may limit possible platforms, advertisers and partners.Still, the executive said that even controversial porn purveyors can find homes online. He estimated Trump could get 5 million to 15 million supporters to pay $10 a month for content, predicting gold hawkers and close friends wouldn’t balk at advertising.The Trump Organization could also look overseas.During his presidency, Trump pledged that his businesses wouldn’t sign new deals in foreign countries, but it continued to collect income from licensing arrangements in Turkey, the Philippines and India. His administration developed close ties in the United Arab Emirates, where he’s previously done business, and Saudi Arabia, where his company considered projects before his ascent to the presidency.Betting on ReboundHussain Sajwani, chairman of Dubai’s DAMAC Properties, said he’d welcome the chance to expand his firm’s relationship with Trump.“We have a great relationship with the Trump Organization, and, be assured, we have absolutely no intention to cancel our agreement,” he said in a statement.The author of “The Art of the Deal” and “The Art of the Comeback” could try his hand at returning to publishing. Trump’s predecessors in the White House, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, got a record-breaking $65 million advance for their memoirs.Trump may have created problems for himself here, too. Publisher Simon & Schuster canceled a planned book by Trump ally Josh Hawley, citing the Missouri senator’s “role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”At least for now, a return to politics isn’t out of the question. Betting website PredictIt pegs the odds that Trump will file this year to run again for president at about 30%. Recently, like so much else, that number has taken a tumble.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
- U.S.Associated Press
A federal judge in Washington on Friday night halted a plan to release and put on house arrest the Arkansas man photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol. Richard Barnett will instead be brought to Washington, D.C., immediately for proceedings in his case, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ordered Friday night, staying a decision by another judge to confine Barnett to his home in Gravette, Arkansas, until his trial. Howell's ruling came hours after U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann in Arkansas set a $5,000 bond for Barnett and ordered that a GPS monitor track his location.
- PoliticsThe Week
President Trump is known for going off script, but his premature presidential election victory declaration in the early hours of the morning on Nov. 4 wasn't a completely spur-of-the-moment decision, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.In the first installment of a reported series on Trump's final two months in office, Swan writes that Trump began "choreographing election night in earnest" during the second week of October following a "toxic" debate with President-elect Joe Biden on Sept. 29 and a bout with COVID-19 that led to his hospitalization. At that point, Trump's internal poll numbers had reportedly taken a tumble, Swan notes.With that in mind, he reportedly called his first White House chief of staff, a stunned Reince Priebus, and "acted out his script, including walking up to a podium and prematurely declaring victory on election night if it looked like he was ahead." Indeed, in the lead up to Election Day, Trump reportedly kept his focus on the so-called "red mirage," the early vote counts that would show many swing states leaning red because mail-in ballots had yet to be counted. Trump, Swan reports, intended to "weaponize it for his vast base of followers," who would go to bed thinking he had secured a second-term, likely planting the seeds of a stolen election. Read more at Axios. > As I've been writing, the plan was to steal the election all along. Fantastic reporting here. https://t.co/k8C73o8vH7> > -- Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) January 16, 2021More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Here's what Biden reportedly plans to do his 1st day in office Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious
An officer who was photographed wearing a MAGA hat during the Capitol riots said the cap was part of a plan to enter the building and rescue other officers.