Politico's story about President Trump owing tens of millions of dollars on a loan that comes due in 2022 to the Chinese state-owned bank, Bank of China, was widely circulated on social media when it was published on Friday. On Monday, the news outlet had to issue a massive correction that undermined the story's main premise.
After the story was published, Politico received a statement from Bank of China USA on Friday, which was not contacted by Politico before publication, to say the story was not true. The bank had sold off, or securitized, its debt shortly after the 2012 deal:
The article cited a nearly $1 billion refinancing deal from several banks, including the Bank of China, struck in 2012 with a New York City real estate venture in which the Trump Organization has a substantial minority interest. We reported that President Trump, through the Trump Organization, owes the Chinese state-owned bank tens of millions of dollars on a loan that comes due in 2022.
Politico said there is an "unresolved discrepancy" regarding a 2017 document "filed by the loan servicer, Wells Fargo, with the New York Department of Finance listed Bank of China as having a financial interest in the building, 1290 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. That record, known as a UCC3, indicated that Bank of China had a “secured” interest in the building’s fixtures in case of default on the loan. The 2017 document is valid until 2022, when the loan comes due."
"Our commitment at POLITICO is to journalism that gets its facts straight. We regret we fell short in this case," the correction concluded.
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