Tuesday, January 24, 2017

An Interesting Story from Trump's Past Should Serve as a Warning to the CIA

by Nomad

In my pursuit of something new, I often go back to something old. In this case, to May 1991. I found an article written by the late Christopher Byron, a veteran financial writer of Wall Street and all of the 1990s shenanigans that went on. In this piece published in New York Magazine (May 1991), Trump plays only a cameo appearance.

The piece is, in fact, about a New York investigative agency, Kroll Associates. Based in Midtown ManhattanNew York City the firm had specialized in digging up dirt in the world of finance.

In the 1980s, corporations would consult Kroll regarding in investors, suitors and takeover targets. "with special attention to any perceived connections to disreputable organizations, suspicious business practices, personality and integrity issues, or any kind of corporate malfeasance " The CIA of Wall Street, you could say.

Its founder, Jules Kroll, recalled a short tale of his encounter with businessman Donald Trump. 
Byron wrote:

Donald Trump.. told me that he had once used Kroll for "a certain matter" and that the investigator's work had been "superb."

"You can quote me on that," said Trump.

A week or so later, however, Kroll himself supplied an unexpected reason for Trump's thumbs-up endorsement. According to Jules, Trump hired Kroll Associates four or five years ago to investigate whether Atlantic City's Plaza casino which Trump was negotiating to buy, had become "mobbed up."

"It was a tough assignment," said Kroll, shaking his head. "One of the people we interviewed was murdered three days after we spoke to him."

Nonetheless, the Kroll investigation found the casino free of mob infiltration and that in turn, brought howls from Trump.

"He wanted us to re-write the report," said Kroll. It seems a report that claimed the casino had been penetrated by the mob would drive down the value and give Trump greater leverage in his negotiations.

"We refused," said Kroll "and we terminated our relationship."

"That's crazy," retorted Trump. "Whoever heard of something like that!"

In any case, fast-forward five years to the spring of 1991, and with Trump now facing bankruptcy, control of his prize Atlantic City possession- the Taj Mahal casino- in effect has been taken from him and placed in the hands of bondholders.

Ironically enough, they, in turn, have asked Kroll to take a seat on the Taj Mahal board, and he, in turn, has given the talks to his second-in-command, McGuire.

"That's why Trump is saying nice things about us now," roll said,. "We're going to be on the Taj's board and he needs us as a friend again, get it?"

That story tells us a great deal about Trump's mentality and the way he handles valuable intel. It's a tale the CIA and all of the other intelligence agencies really ought to take seriously.

The interesting part is how Trump would demand that Kroll Associates- whose corporate business model depends on providing accurate information- re-write the findings that contradicted Trump's expectations.
Those expectations were based on his agenda. In his mind, the information provided by Kroll had to match those expectations. When it didn't, he demanded a revision.
Trump seems to have been surprised that the consulting firm would choose to terminate its business with Trump than to be pressured to report false information.

If the story is at all accurate, the other lesson we learn from the twist of this anecdote. Something much less surprising perhaps. Trump's high opinion is a slippery thing, dependent on his needs and the circumstances of the moment.

For anybody in the intelligence agencies, those two factors might just be vital things to consider when attempting to keep your boss happy.
Good luck with that, You're going to need it.