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Trump financial disclosure reveals company shaken by pandemic

Even before the pandemic and the riot, the Trump presidency had complicated business for the Trump brand.

For much of his tenure, the company remained neutral as the last name was removed from several properties and potential new deals never saw the light of day. Mr Trump’s polarizing policies also seemed to create a red-blue divide, leaving his hotels in Democratic strongholds like New York and Chicago struggling, while his golf club in North Carolina was booming.

One bright spot in 2020 was Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s private club in Florida and his planned new residence. Mar-a-Lago’s revenue rose from $ 21.4 million to $ 24.2 million, an increase of 13%. The company’s retail operations also grew, more than doubling revenue to nearly $ 2 million.

Trump’s golf industry has had mixed results. While many courses recorded losses of 10% or more, revenues increased at clubs in West Palm Beach, Florida, and at another near Charlotte, North Carolina, as golf became a popular outdoor escape from the dangers of Covid-19.

But at Doral, Mr. Trump’s biggest revenue generator, revenues fell from $ 77.2 million in 2019 to $ 44.2 million, down almost 43%.

Trump Turnberry, a golf club in Scotland, experienced a significant downturn last year. Revenue rose from $ 25.7 million to $ 9.8 million, or about 62%, as Scottish authorities shut it down due to the virus.

Some of the Trump Organization’s biggest declines have come in its hotel business as the virus halted travel and the company downsized to stem losses. The Washington hotel, which the Trumps had considered selling before the pandemic, was particularly affected. The hotel’s famous restaurant and lobby – long a gathering place for lobbyists, White House aides, and other Trump supporters – have been closed for extended periods over the past year and the hotel occupancy rates have dropped considerably.

Mr Trump said assets worth at least $ 1.3 billion, down slightly from 2019.

He also reported receiving 10 gifts, including an Ultimate Fighting Championship belt, golf gear, a leather jacket and a computer from Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, valued at $ 5,999.

Eric Lipton contributed reporting.

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‘A total failure’: the proud boys now laugh at Trump

After last year’s presidential election, the Proud Boys, a far-right group, declared their unwavering loyalty to President Trump.

In a message posted on Nov. 8 to a private channel on the Telegram messaging app, the group urged its supporters to attend protests against an election it said was fraudulently stolen from Mr. Trump. “Hail, Emperor Trump,” wrote the Proud Boys.

But this week, the group’s attitude towards Mr. Trump had changed. “Trump will be seen as a total failure,” the Proud Boys said on the same Telegram channel on Monday.

As Mr. Trump left the White House on Wednesday, the Proud Boys, once among his staunchest supporters, also began to leave his side. In dozens of conversations on social media sites like Gab and Telegram, members of the group have started calling Mr. Trump “shill” and “extraordinarily weak,” according to posts reviewed by The New York Times. They also urged supporters to stop attending rallies and protests organized for Mr. Trump or the Republican Party.

The comments are a surprising turning point for the Proud Boys, who for years have supported Mr. Trump and encouraged political violence. Led by Enrique Tarrio, many of his thousands of members were such die-hard fans of Mr. Trump that they offered to serve as a private militia and celebrated after he told them in a presidential debate the year last to “take a step back and be ready.” “On January 6, some members of the Proud Boys stormed the United States Capitol.

But since then, discontent with Mr. Trump, who later condemned the violence, has spilled over. On social media, Proud Boys attendees complained about his willingness to step down and said his disavowal of the Capitol rampage was an act of treason. And Mr. Trump, cut off from Facebook and Twitter, was unable to speak to them directly to allay their concerns or raise new rallying cries.

“When Trump told them that if he left office America would fall into an abyss, they believed him,” Arieh Kovler, a political consultant and independent researcher in Israel who studies the far right, told About the Proud Boys. “Now that he has stepped down, they believe he has both surrendered and failed to fulfill his patriotic duty.”

The change raises questions about the strength of support for Mr Trump and suggests that pockets of his fans are starting to fracture. Many fans of Mr. Trump still mistakenly believe he was stripped of his post, but other far-right groups such as the Oath Keepers, America First and the Three Percenters have also started to criticize him over the Telegram’s private channels, according to a review of the posts.

America First frontman Nicholas Fuentes last week wrote on his Telegram channel that Mr. Trump’s response to the Capitol rampage was “very weak and flabby” and added, “He’s not the same guy. who showed up in 2015.

On Wednesday, the Proud Boys Telegram group welcomed President Biden to power. “At least the incoming administration is honest about its intentions,” the group wrote.

Mr Kovler said the activity showed that groups that had rallied around Mr Trump were now trying to determine their future direction. By losing his ability to post on Twitter and Facebook, Mr. Trump had also become less useful to far-right groups, which relied on him to raise their profile on the national stage, Mr. Kovler said.

Mr. Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, could not be reached for comment. A spokesperson for Mr. Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

The Proud Boys were founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, also founder of the online publication Vice, as a men’s club. It quickly attracted people who seemed eager to engage in violence and who frequently espoused anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic views. The group had supported Mr. Trump since taking office.

The change in that support has happened slowly. After the November election, the group’s private Telegram channels, Gab Pages, and posts on the alternative social networking site Speak were filled with calls to keep faith in Mr. Trump. Many Proud Boys, echoing Mr Trump’s lies, said the election was rigged, according to a review of the posts.

The Proud Boys urged their members to attend “Stop the Steal” rallies. A November 23 message on a Proud Boys Telegram page read: “No Trump, no peace.” The post was linked to information about a rally outside the governor’s house in Georgia.

As Mr. Trump’s legal team battled the election outcome with lawsuits, the Proud Boys closely followed court cases and appeals in different states, frequently posting links on their Telegram channels to reports.

But when Mr. Trump’s legal efforts failed, the Proud Boys called on him on social media to use his presidential powers to stay in power. Some urged him to declare martial law or take control by force. During the last two weeks of December, they pushed Mr. Trump in protests and on social media to “cross the Rubicon.”

“They wanted to arm themselves and start a second civil war and overthrow the government in Trump’s name,” said Marc-Andre Argentino, a far-right researcher with a doctorate. candidate at Concordia University. “But ultimately, he couldn’t be the authoritarian they wanted him to be.

Then came the week of the Capitol Assault. On January 4, Mr. Tarrio was arrested by Metropolitan Police on suspicion of burning a Black Lives Matter banner torn from a black church in Washington. Two days later, other members of the Proud Boys were part of the mob that raped the Capitol. Some have posted dozens of videos of the rioters on social media, celebrating them as a show of “collective strength”.

The group expected Mr. Trump to champion the crowd, according to their social media posts. Instead, Mr. Trump released a video on January 8 denouncing the violence.

The disappointment was immediately palpable. A Proud Boys Telegram channel said, “It’s really important for all of us to see how much Trump has betrayed his supporters this week. We are nationalists first and foremost. Trump was just a man and it turns out he’s extremely weak in the end.

Since then, at least five men identified as members of the Proud Boys have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riots.

Some Proud Boys have become enraged that Mr. Trump does not appear interested in issuing presidential pardons for their members who have been arrested. In a Telegram report on Friday, they accused Mr Trump of “causing” the events on Capitol Hill, adding that he then “washed his hands.”

“They thought they had his support and that ultimately Trump would come in their place, including with a pardon if they needed it,” said Jared Holt, visiting researcher at the Atlantic Council’s DFR Lab. “Now they realize that they have gone too far in the riots.

Some Proud Boys are now saying in online posts that the group should “go black” and withdraw from politics by cutting its political party affiliation. They encourage each other to focus their energies on secessionist movements and local protests.

“To all demoralized Trump supporters: there is hope,” read a message on a Proud Boys Telegram channel on Wednesday. “There is an alternative. Give up the GOP and the Dems. “

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Trump Pardon Madison Avenue Art Dealer Hillel Nahmad

In one of his last gestures before leaving office, President Trump pardoned one of New York’s best-known art dealers, Hillel Nahmad, known as Helly, a member of a wealthy and influential family of art collectors who are part of the auction houses for decades.

Mr Nahmad had served five months in federal prison in 2014 after pleading guilty to a charge that he ran a sports betting network. Investigators said the network had ties to Russian-American organized crime figures, several of whom were also indicted in the case.

Mr. Nahmad did not respond to a request for comment on his pardon from Mr. Trump, which has been something of his neighbor in New York. Mr. Nahmad has bought every unit on the 51st floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan for almost two decades. Bloomberg reported in 2016 that he paid more than $ 18.4 million to raise the whole floor.

Mr Nahmad’s pardon was one of 143 pardons and commutations granted by Mr Trump in his final hours in office, including pardon from Stephen K. Banon, his former chief strategist, and Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., the musician known as Lil Wayne.

“Since his conviction”, a statement from the White House announcing the pardon of Mr. Nahmad said: “He lived an exemplary life and devoted himself to the well-being of his community.”

Mr Nahmad’s gaming network has drawn famous participants, and investigators said he received a large chunk of the proceeds from the $ 100 million operation. In addition to his prison term, Mr. Nahmad was ordered to pay a fine of $ 30,000, lose $ 6.4 million in income, and enroll in a gambling addiction program.

“Your Honor, I am ashamed,” Nahmad said in court just before sentence was handed down, according to Art in America. “My family is a private family and I have brought them dishonor. Whatever your phrase today, I will never forgive myself. Others who love me can forgive, but I won’t.

Mr. Nahmad’s Upper East Side gallery, the Helly Nahmad Gallery, on Madison Avenue, has exhibited works by such luminaries as Picasso and Francis Bacon.

Among those charged in the case was Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, a high-ranking Russian gangster accused of playing a role in the gambling network. Mr. Tokhtakhounov, who was based in Russia, has never been arrested.

Mr. Nahmad’s family, whose fortunes began with interests in banking and currency trading in their native Syria, then in Lebanon and Italy, have one of the largest collections of Impressionist and Modernist art in world. The family is worth around $ 3 billion.

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Trump arrived in Palm Beach to begin his life as a private citizen.

Air Force One landed at Palm Beach International Airport shortly before 11 a.m., bringing President Trump to his home state for one final time as president. The tarmac was silent as the plane rolled down the runway, aside from the occasional click of a camera and the roar of the engine.

Mr Trump and First Lady Melania Trump got off the plane under clear skies and 68 degrees about 10 minutes later. The president waved to a contingent of about 20 supporters, who waved their hands in silence. He did not answer questions.

Prior to the president’s arrival, Mr. Trump’s supporters had started lining Southern Boulevard, the main road connecting Palm Beach International Airport to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s private club. There was a heavy police presence along the road, as has been typical during the four years of Trump’s presidency when he’s in town.

Along a few blocks of Southern Boulevard to Palm Beach, Florida, at least 100 people filled the street to get a final glimpse of Mr. Trump as his motorcade passed. They had taken pictures and waved when Air Force One flew over.

“We hate to see him go,” said Don Smith, who drove a three-hour drive near Clearwater Beach in southwest Florida to greet Mr. Trump on his return to the state. Mr Smith said he was also at the Jan.6 rally for Mr Trump in Washington and had reached the gates of Capitol Hill where the inauguration was taking place on Wednesday.

“He should be our president,” Smith said. “I wanted to say goodbye, say hello to the commander-in-chief. We will start 2024 right away. Biden is not my president-elect. “

Music was blaring from the speakers in the back of a truck. The national anthem has played. So does a mix of hard rock, house and trap.

“We love to show the President a lot of love,” said Randy Anderson of West Palm Beach, who wore a MAGA shirt for the occasion. “He doesn’t get a lot from the rest of the country.”

“There was a lot of cheating,” Anderson added of the election results. “I don’t think Joe will last very long.”

Finally, Mr. Trump drove by and the crowd screamed in excitement. A lone man shouted: “Traitor!”

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Video: Watch live: President Trump leaves Washington

TimesVideoWatch Live: President Trump Leaves Washington Watch live coverage of the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the next President of the United States and the departure of President Trump from Washington, by The New York Times.

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Schism deepens, McConnell says Trump ‘provoked’ Capitol Mob

But so far he has set a much different tone than he did barely a year ago, when he said “I am not an impartial juror” and proceeded to establish White House-begged trial rules that would stifle the case and Democrats favor Mr. Trump’s ultimate acquittal. Now he has told his allies he is done with Mr. Trump and is doing nothing to persuade senators to support him, instead calling the impeachment vote a matter of conscience.

Already a half-dozen Republican senators have indicated they believe Mr. Trump’s offense to be serious, but others appeared to be watching Mr. McConnell closely for clues.

“I think that’s a good way to put it,” said Sen. John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and McConnell ally, echoing the language Mr. McConnell used to describe the vote. “I will listen to what is presented,” he added.

The timing of the trial itself remained in limbo on Tuesday as leaders worked behind the scenes to craft a set of rules governing procedure and the broader balance of power in the Senate, which after Wednesday will be divided by 50 to 50 Impeachment trials are generally tedious cases, shutting down all other Senate business, and Democrats have insisted that this time both sides find a way to simultaneously try Mr. Trump and uphold the claims. key members of Mr. Biden’s cabinet.

“We are proceeding with the inauguration now,” President Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday, dismissing questions about when she would convey the charges to the House, which triggered the trial to begin.

Democrats will remain in control because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have the power to sever ties with the Senate, but New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, will need at least some cooperation from Mr. McConnell to run the chamber and get things done. .

Even as he sought to cut Mr Trump off, Mr McConnell signaled to Democrats that he intended to be the partisan fighter who has infuriated them for years, insisting in private talks so that ‘They undertake to leave the systematic obstruction in place if they wish. its cooperation on any power-sharing agreement.

“The November elections certainly did not give either side a mandate to radically change ideology,” McConnell said in his speech. “Our marching orders from the American people are clear: we need to have a solid discussion and seek common ground. We need to seek bipartisan agreement wherever we can, and respectfully verify and balance ourselves where we need to.

Emily cochrane contribution to reports.

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In farewell video, Trump repeats familiar lies

What Mr. Trump said

“We rebuilt the American manufacturing base, opened thousands of new factories and brought back the beautiful phrase ‘Made in the USA'”

It lacks evidence. Manufacturing employment increased by just under 500,000 before the pandemic, but by December it had fallen by more than 75,000 since Mr. Trump took office. Manufacturing output also rose slightly, before dropping to a level below when Mr. Trump took office. The number of manufacturing establishments increased under Mr. Trump, but most of them employ five people or less.

What Mr. Trump said

“We have embraced VA Choice, VA Accountability, Right to Try, and historic criminal justice reform.”

It is misleading. The Veterans Choice healthcare program was established in 2014; Mr. Trump signed an update to this law. Likewise, the ‘Right to Judge’ Act of 2018 allows terminally ill patients to seek access to experimental medicine that is not yet fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but a similar program is in place. since the 1970s.

What Mr. Trump said

“NATO countries are now paying hundreds of billions of dollars more than when I arrived just a few years ago. It was very unfair. We were paying the price for the world. “

It’s exaggerated. Four years in office have not altered Mr. Trump’s mistaken understanding and characterization of the military spending obligations of members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Member countries make direct contributions to the organization’s relatively small central fund, based on national income, and also agree to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense.

Mr Trump’s complaints prompted the alliance to reduce the US contribution to the common fund, which covers headquarters operations and some joint exercises, to 16% of the total, from 22%. NATO’s strength, however, comes from the military budgets of each member nation. The number of countries meeting the 2 percent guideline has increased from 5 to 10 in recent years. Mr Trump can claim some credit for the increased spending, but it should be noted that in 2014, before he took office, countries pledged to meet that target within a decade.

Do you want to know the accuracy of a complaint? Send an email to factcheck@nytimes.com.

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‘He was just everywhere’: country tired after four years of Trump

When Mr. Trump was inaugurated, Sarvin Haghighi, 41, an Iranian who married an American and moved to Chicago in 2013, was visiting her parents in Australia. Immediately after taking office, Mr. Trump issued an order barring Iranians and others from entering the United States, a ban that, in its original form, even applied to permanent residents like Ms. Haghighi. She would be returning to her husband’s home in the United States soon, but she still cries as she talks about the whole experience. His parents were unable to visit him at all.

“I am very saddened to see how divided this country is today, how racism is woven into this country,” said Ms. Haghighi, who became a citizen in 2018. “Even with Trump leaving this office, it will not go away.

The idea that the country’s major problems begin and end with Mr. Trump rings hollow for many, who see the turmoil of the past four years not just because of Mr. Trump, but as part of a spectrum of forces that the Trump era has liberated. .

Christopher Kershaw, 41, director of a food distribution company in New Jersey, is somewhere in the political arena, endorsing some things the president has done and strongly disapproving of others. But everyone had to choose sides, he said, and any given question seemed less important than whether the president was for or against.

Mr Trump bore much of the blame for this given his needlessly provocative rhetoric, Mr Kershaw said, but it distorted every political discussion, even on minor issues. A Biden-Harris administration could better unify the country now, he said, by not doing much.

“If the Senate and the House could go back to doing nothing as they normally do, maybe we could just have a few minutes to regroup,” Kershaw said. “Give everyone a chance to go back to their corners and breathe.”

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Pursue Trump? Biden is suspicious, but his constituents are impatient

Last year, Mr Biden said he didn’t think it was “good for democracy” to sue a former president. He said he would leave the choice of whether or not to continue federal affairs to the Department of Justice. And in appointing Merrick B. Garland, a moderate appellate court judge, attorney general, Mr. Biden signaled Mr. Trump’s reversal of the Justice Department’s distortion to attack his political enemies.

But many Democratic voters have said that letting Mr. Trump go unpunished, including his potential violation of the constitutional ban on profiting from a foreign government during his tenure, would only encourage future autocratic behavior in the White House.

“The next guy who wants to be a dictator or whatever, he’s going to be a lot smarter than Trump,” said Robert Landry, a retired truck driver in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. “If you don’t hold these people accountable and say, ‘No, that’s too far,’ someone is going to come and push further. I think some of these people are already in Congress.”

An independent politician, Mr. Landry, 69, is hardly a moderate pleading for courtesy across the aisle. On the contrary, he lamented that former President Barack Obama “attempted to play kumbaya” after taking office, dismissing the George W. Bush administration’s extensive investigations into domestic espionage and the use of torture by the CIA.

It was a mistake, Landry said, complaining that Democrats don’t play hard the way Republicans do. “If they let people get away with stuff, they’ll lose my vote,” he said. “I will no longer vote Republican, but I will not vote Democratic.”

Democratic voters rejected the view that a Senate trial of Mr. Trump would only exacerbate national divisions, arguing that the deep divisions in the country could hardly be worse and that the expectation of bipartisanship was primarily a illusion.

“The Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to be moderate in order to get compromise and cooperation over and over again, and it hasn’t worked and it won’t work,” said Dave Bone, 54, a consultant in energy efficient who lives in Philadelphia.

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Pursue Trump? Biden is suspicious, but his constituents are impatient

Last year, Mr Biden said he didn’t think it was “good for democracy” to sue a former president. He said he would leave the choice of whether or not to continue federal affairs to the Department of Justice. And in appointing Merrick B. Garland, a moderate appellate court judge, attorney general, Mr. Biden signaled Mr. Trump’s reversal of the Justice Department’s distortion to attack his political enemies.

But many Democratic voters have said that letting Mr. Trump go unpunished, including his potential violation of the constitutional ban on profiting from a foreign government during his tenure, would only encourage future autocratic behavior in the White House.

“The next guy who wants to be a dictator or whatever, he’s going to be a lot smarter than Trump,” said Robert Landry, a retired truck driver in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. “If you don’t hold these people accountable and say, ‘No, that’s too far,’ someone is going to come and push further. I think some of these people are already in Congress.”

An independent politician, Mr. Landry, 69, is hardly a moderate pleading for courtesy across the aisle. On the contrary, he lamented that former President Barack Obama “attempted to play kumbaya” after taking office, dismissing the George W. Bush administration’s extensive investigations into domestic espionage and the use of torture by the CIA.

It was a mistake, Landry said, complaining that Democrats don’t play hard the way Republicans do. “If they let people get away with stuff, they’ll lose my vote,” he said. “I will no longer vote Republican, but I will not vote Democratic.”

Democratic voters rejected the view that a Senate trial of Mr. Trump would only exacerbate national divisions, arguing that the deep divisions in the country could hardly be worse and that the expectation of bipartisanship was primarily a illusion.

“The Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to be moderate in order to get compromise and cooperation over and over again, and it hasn’t worked and it won’t work,” said Dave Bone, 54, a consultant in energy efficient who lives in Philadelphia.