MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday laid out all the allegations laid out in a bombshell New York Times report about the tax fraud undertaken by President Donald Trump’s father Fred — and how huge the grift really was.
The host noted that one of the largest revelations from the Times report was the previously-unknown existence of All County Building Supply & Maintenance, a shell company the patriarch used to markup appliances used in his buildings and reap the benefits so he could give large, tax-exempt monetary gifts to his kids.
“The Times calls this scheme around this company the most overt in Trump’s company,” Maddow said, later noting that the appliance markups were a fairly simple example of “tax evasion.”
“When you move money from one party to another under a cover story that makes it look sort of like a real business transaction, but it’s not at all,” she continued. “It’s a business transaction that makes no financial sense. It’s a business transaction that only exists to disguise that flow of money from one party to the other and to avoid taxes on that flow of money.”
The Times reported that Fred Trump created a total of 295 revenue streams to enrich his children that were initially divvied up evenly among his four progeny.
“But over time, as Donald Trump careened from one financial disaster to the next, his father found ways to give him substantially more money, records show,” the report noted.
“President Trump has frequently bragged that he only ever got a $1 million loan from his dad,” Maddow said. “He always says his dad didn’t run a very successful business. Oh, and by the way, that little measly $1 million he got, he had to pay it back with interest.”
With the revelations from this report, however, “it looks like Trump received more than $400 million [in today’s dollars] over decades out of his dad and his dad’s business, and that that actually is kind of the extent of his business success.”
“It’s nice work if you can get it,” the host said, “as long as it’s not illegal and provided that you haven’t built your whole adult life around a completely false opposite story that ultimately led to a political career.”
John Oliver unleashes on news sites that sent out stupid push notifications
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver doesn't come back until Feb. 16, but he dropped a new web-exclusive video Sunday complaining to news agencies that they should stop sending out stupid push notifications on their apps.
Oliver told his audience that there are two major criteria when considering a push notification: 1. Is there something I should be doing differently?; and 2. Is this something I need to know now?
Things like declarations of war, earthquakes or acts of terrorism are all perfect examples of things news agencies should inform readers about quickly. But when CNN sent out a push notification about a 115,000 Neanderthal child that was only found "half-eaten" by a bird, Oliver was understandably frustrated.
Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report
The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.
It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.
"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.
"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.
Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo
Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.
Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.
In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.
But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."