11 July 2015

Fox News Tries to De-Trumpify the Debate

It looks like Fox and the RNC are looking to find a way to keep Donald Trump out of the debates:
The large field of Republican presidential hopefuls jockeying to make the cut for the first 2016 debate will have to file a public disclosure of their personal finances on time to participate.

That means every candidate who declared before July 6 — a group of 14 contenders including former Florida governor Jeb Bush and real estate magnate Donald Trump — will have to reveal information about their assets and debts to get into the Aug. 6 event in Cleveland.

Trump told The Washington Post in an interview Thursday that he will file his financial disclosure ahead of schedule, perhaps next week. Bush has not yet said whether he will do so.

Fox News, which is hosting the debate with Facebook and the Ohio Republican Party, clarified Thursday that the criteria for candidates to participate include filing the required personal financial disclosure within 30 days of declaring their bids.

"FOX News has never wavered from the initial debate criteria we set forth," Michael Clemente, the network's executive vice president of news, said in a statement, which was first reported by the New York Times.


Under a 1978 federal ethics law, all presidential candidates have to file details about their financial interests with the FEC within 30 days of declaring. The agency allows two 45-day extensions.


Aides to Trump — who claims to be worth $8.7 billion — have maintained that he will file his disclosure within the 30 days allotted, giving him until July 22. Bush has until July 15 to meet the deadline for his paperwork, but his campaign has asked for a 45-day extension. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a question about when he plans to file. 
I don't know how/if Trump is going to finesse this.

If he were to reveal his full personal finances, which would necessarily involve making it public, it would almost show that his wealth of "$8.7 billion" is a complete mirage, which would likely put a serious crimp in both his reputation, and his ability to conduct further business.

I do not think that this is going to work:  If Trump's finances are as byzantine as I think, and as a real estate mogul, they likely are, he will file a report that is both technically legal completely uninformative.


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