A Look Inside Trump’s Deposition: Defiance, Deflection And The ‘Hottest Brand In The World’

NEW YORK (AP) — In newly public testimony, Donald Trump boasts about constructing a multibillion-dollar model and saving “millions of lives” as president.

He spars with the New York legal professional normal suing him for fraud, telling Letitia James “the whole case is crazy” and accusing her workers of making an attempt to journey him up like TV lawyer Perry Mason did to witnesses.

Trump gave seven hours of sworn testimony in April as a part of James’ lawsuit, which accused the Republican and his firm of defrauding banks, insurers and others with annual monetary statements that inflated the worth of belongings and boosted his internet value by greater than $2 billion in some years.

Former President Donald Trump, seen in March, gave seven hours of sworn testimony in April as part of a lawsuit by the New York attorney general that accuses him and his company of defrauding banks, insurers and others.
Former President Donald Trump, seen in March, gave seven hours of sworn testimony in April as a part of a lawsuit by the New York legal professional normal that accuses him and his firm of defrauding banks, insurers and others.

Trump’s attorneys posted a transcript of his deposition in a flurry of court docket filings Wednesday, forward of a potential October trial.

A ‘Terrible Thing’

Trump decried James’ lawsuit as a “terrible thing,” telling her and her workers “you don’t have a case.”

He insisted the banks she alleges have been snookered with lofty valuations suffered no hurt, received paid in his offers and “to this day have no complaints.”

“Do you know the banks made a lot of money?” Trump requested. “Do you know I don’t believe I ever got even a default notice and, even during COVID, the banks were all paid. And yet you’re suing on behalf of banks, I guess. It’s crazy. The whole case is crazy.”

Banks “want to do business with me because I’m rich,” Trump advised James. “But, you know what, they’re petrified to do business because of you.”

Trump complained New York authorities “spend all their time investigating me, instead of stopping violent crime in the streets.”

He mentioned they’d put his lately jailed ex-finance chief Allen Weisselberg “through hell and back” for dodging taxes on company-paid perks.

“Now I have to come and justify myself to you,” Trump groused.

Don’t Take My Phrase For It

Trump mentioned he by no means felt his monetary statements “would be taken very seriously,” and that individuals who did enterprise with him got ample warning to not belief them.

Trump described the statements as “a fairly good compilation of properties” somewhat than a real illustration of their worth. Some numbers, he famous, have been “guesstimates.”

Trump claimed the statements have been primarily for his use, although he conceded monetary establishments typically requested for them.

Even then, he insisted it didn’t matter legally in the event that they have been correct or not, as a result of they got here with a disclaimer.

“I have a clause in there that says, ’Don’t believe the statement. Go out and do your own work,” Trump testified. “You’re supposed to pay no credence to what we say whatsoever.”

What’s In A Title? $10 Billion

Trump estimated that his “brand” alone is value “maybe $10 billion.”

He referred to as it “the most valuable asset I have” and attributed his political success to the ubiquity of his title and persona.

“I became president because of the brand, OK,” Trump mentioned. “I became president. I think it’s the hottest brand in the world.”

‘Most Important’ Job In The World

After Trump was elected, he put the Trump Group right into a belief overseen by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and longtime finance chief, Weisselberg.

Trump claimed he did so not as a result of it was required however as a result of he needed to be a “legitimate president” and keep away from look of a battle of curiosity.

Plus, Trump mentioned, he was busy fixing the world’s issues — like stopping North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un from launching a nuclear assault.

“I considered this the most important job in the world, saving millions of lives,” Trump testified. “I think you would have nuclear holocaust if I didn’t deal with North Korea. I think you would have a nuclear war, if I weren’t elected. And I think you might have a nuclear war now, if you want to know the truth.”

Now We’re Speaking

Trump’s typically garrulous testimony was a 180-degree flip from the strategy he took when James summoned him for questioning in August 2022 — earlier than her lawsuit or any of the 4 legal circumstances in opposition to him have been filed.

At that first deposition, Trump invoked his Fifth Modification privilege in opposition to self-incrimination and refused to reply questions greater than 400 occasions. Trump mentioned he did so as a result of he was sure politically motivated prosecutors would use his solutions as a foundation for legal expenses.

By April, Trump modified his thoughts and responded to even easy questions at such size that his interrogator, James’ deputy Kevin Wallace, prompt he was making an attempt to expire the clock.

“Chris, we’re going to be here until midnight if your client answers every question with an eight-minute speech,” he mentioned to certainly one of Trump’s attorneys, Christopher Kise.

Trump, although, appeared conscious there was a threat in occurring and on.

In the course of certainly one of his protracted solutions, expounding on the greatness of certainly one of his golf programs, Trump mentioned: “You are going to let me go on, hoping that I make a mistake. And that’s OK. That’s the way it is. Perry Mason. Perry Mason.”

Obstructed View

Trump testified on the legal professional normal’s Manhattan workplace, throughout the road from 40 Wall Avenue — a skyscraper labeled “The Trump Building” in massive, gold letters.

Requested how the constructing was doing, financially, Trump answered: “Good. It’s right here. Would you like to see it?”

“I don’t think we’re allowed to open the windows,” Wallace mentioned.

“Open the curtain,” Trump prompt.

“Open the curtain, go ahead,” Trump mentioned. “It’s right here. I just looked out the window.”

“Can’t open it?” Trump lawyer Clifford Robert requested, after a beat.

“I wouldn’t,” Wallace mentioned.

‘Beautiful’ And ‘Incredible’

Trump confirmed off his knack for superlatives, uttering the phrases “beautiful” and “incredible” 15 occasions every and “phenomenal” six occasions as he described his properties.

Trump referred to as his Turnberry, Scotland, golf course “one of the most iconic places in the world,” and the renovated villas at his Doral golf resort close to Miami “the most beautiful rooms you’ve ever seen.”

Trump described his 213-acre Seven Springs property north of New York Metropolis as “the greatest house in New York State.”

His golf programs in Aberdeen, Scotland? “Really incredible.” Jupiter, Florida? “An incredible facility.” Simply outdoors Los Angeles? “An incredible property … an unbelievable property … a phenomenal property that fronts on the ocean.”

“I don’t want to sell any of them,” Trump testified. “But if I ever sold them — if I ever put some of these things up for sale — I would get numbers that were staggering.”

He mentioned he might get $1.5 billion for his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida and perhaps $2.5 billion for Doral.

Trump prompt he might get “a fortune” from the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV golf league for the Turnberry course, a former British Open web site.

“There would be people that would do anything to own Doral. There are people that would do anything to own Turnberry or Mar-a-Lago or … Trump Tower or 40 Wall Street.”


Related Press reporters Jennifer Peltz and David B. Caruso contributed to this report.

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