President Donald Trump may have blamed his inadequate response to the devastation in Puerto Rico on “this thing called the Atlantic,” but his own failed golf course may have made it worse.
According to a report by Death & Taxes, the Coco Beach Golf and Country Club in San Juan (renamed to Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico in 2008) borrowed more than $26 million in “government-backed bonds” to pay for renovations and old debts — but then defaulted nearly $120,000, declaring bankruptcy and leaving Puerto Rican Americans to pay the $32.7 million bill.
According to a PolitiFact Florida report from earlier this year, Trump’s complicated relationship with the failed San Juan golf course started in 2008, when he entered a deal with the club to re-license under his brand and turn the club around as it was “hemorrhaging money.”
The resort hosted the PGA’s Puerto Rican Open that year, but by 2011, the “resort sought more bonds to repay the earlier bonds.” The following year, Trump pocketed more than $600,000 in profits.
By the time the resort filed for bankruptcy in 2015, it had done so under it’s original name. At the time, Eric Trump claimed his family’s business had “zero financial investment in this course” and merely lent it their name and managed their golf course, but the report stated he “filed a bankruptcy claim for about $927,000 for unpaid fees on behalf of Trump Golf Coco Beach LLC.”
Additionally, a BuzzFeed report from 2016 proved that the Trump Organization promised to turn the club around — and then left the Puerto Rican government with their defaulted payments.
After Trump finally spoke out on Twitter about Puerto Rico’s financial woes that led to their difficulties paying for relief, a Twitter user who claims to “track” Trump’s spending responded with the PolitiFact report about his former golf course’s role in exacerbating the island territory’s financial crisis.
— RynheartTheReluctant (@TheRynheart) September 26, 2017