'Doesn't that make me smart?' Trump frantically spins NYT report on his disastrous Chicago hotel
Donald Trump speaks to NBC News (screen grab)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday tried to spin the latest New York Times story about his tax payments by claiming that a disastrous hotel development in Chicago made him "smart."


The Times reported on Tuesday night that "Trump defaulted on his loans, sued his bank, got much of the debt forgiven" for a Chicago hotel project that proved to be vastly less profitable than he had once projected.

Trump, however, said that building an unprofitable hotel and then weaseling his way out of paying debts on it was actually a savvy business manuever.

"As a developer long ago, and continuing to this day, the politicians ran Chicago into the ground," the president wrote on Twitter. "I was able to make an appropriately great deal with the numerous lenders on a large and very beautiful tower. Doesn’t that make me a smart guy rather than a bad guy?"

In reality, the Times found that Trump's actions in Chicago were part of a larger pattern in which he would develop unprofitable properties and then stiff the creditors who lent him money.

"When the project encountered problems, he tried to walk away from his huge debts," the paper wrote. "For most individuals or businesses, that would have been a recipe for ruin. But tax-return data, other records and interviews show that rather than warring with a notoriously litigious and headline-seeking client, lenders cut Mr. Trump slack -- exactly what he seemed to have been counting on."