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Fact Check: How much help did Trump’s father give his son?

“He started his business with $14 million, borrowed from his father.”

–Hillary Clinton

“My father gave me a very small loan in 1975, and I built it into a company that’s worth many, many billions of dollars.”

–Donald Trump

THE FACT CHECKER | Clinton is more correct here than Trump. She appears to be referring to a recent Wall Street Journal on Sept. 23 reported that a 1985 casino-license document showed that Donald Trump owed his father and father’s businesses about $14 million.

Trump joined his father’s thriving real estate business after college and that he relied on his father’s connections as he made his way in the real estate world.

For instance, Fred Trump — along with the Hyatt hotel chain — jointly guaranteed the $70 million construction loan from Manufacturers Hanover bank, “each assuming a 50 percent share of the obligation and each committing itself to complete the project should Donald be unable to finish it,” according to veteran Trump chronicler Wayne Barrett in his 1992 book, “Trump: The Deals and the Downfall.

Trump also benefited from three trusts that had been set up for family members. In 1976, Fred Trump set up eight $1 million trusts, one each for his five children and three grandchildren, according to a casino document. (That today would be worth about $4 million in inflation-adjusted dollars.) The casino document lists several other loans from Trump’s father to his son, including a $7.5 million loan with at least a 12-percent interest rate that was still outstanding in 1981.

In a 2007 deposition, Trump admitted he had borrowed “a small amount” from his father’s estate: ‘I think it was like in the $9 million range.” And as Trump’s casinos ran into trouble, Trump’s father also purchased $3.5 million gaming chips, but did not use them, so the casino would have enough cash to make payments on its mortgage — a transaction which casino authorities later said was an illegal loan.

Many experts doubt Trump’s claims that he is really worth as much as $10 billion. Bloomberg News pegged his net worth at $2.9 billion, based on an analysis of his personal financial disclosure form.

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