Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday blamed banks for lending money based on false valuations after he was indicted on “numerous fraud cases.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James has indicted the 45th president, his three adult children and a host of companies, organizations and individuals involved in his eponymous real estate and licensing business after a three-year civil investigation into allegations of fraud.
The attorney general alleged that Mr. Trump and his companies have falsely inflated the value of his assets by billions of dollars in an effort to gain tax breaks.
Ms. James called it an “art of stealing” and claimed that the Trump Organization and its representatives made more than 200 false and misleading assessments of its assets over a 10-year period.
In an interview with TBEN News host Sean Hannity, the former president called the lawsuit a “witch hunt” and argued that banks were failing to conduct their own valuations.
“Do you have a caveat that basically says these are our ratings?” asked Hannah.
“Because I don’t know of any credit institution or bank or financial institution that would lend money to anyone and would simply rely on the borrower’s appraisal or evaluation of a particular property.”
“We have a disclaimer,” Trump replied.
“My people put it together. I would look into it, and it looked good. But it’s not overly important. What is important is the property. I have the best possession. What happened, Sean, is that we would have a disclaimer on the front.
“It basically says, you know, get your own people. You’re at your own risk. This was done by management, it wasn’t done by us.”
“So, don’t trust the explanation you get,” he continued.
“By the way, it goes on for about a page and a half. It’s a very big disclaimer. It is a very powerful disclaimer.
“It actually says to an institution: ‘You are going to borrow money. You have to go out and get your own appraisers, your own lawyers, everything.”
Mr Trump claimed he previously turned down an offer to dismiss the three-year investigation into whether his real estate company had committed tax fraud, saying paying “even a small amount” would be tantamount to pleading guilty.
“I met them. I actually thought they wanted to settle, but I didn’t want to settle, because even if I paid a very small amount, how can you plead guilty.”