Politico Edits Story That Falsely Claimed Trump Owes Millions to China

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Politico has been forced to change a headline and an accompanying article after tripping over truth in their attempt to swipe the president.

In an initial report, Politico claimed President Trump owes “tens of millions” of dollars to China but later corrected the headline to show the debt was no longer owed.

The subtle shift was quickly noted by the Trump campaign, who drew attention to it online.

“Massive clarification in Politico hit piece,” Trump’s 2020 Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh tweeted. “Headline changed to past tense.”

Politico reported:

Donald Trump is warning “China will own the United States” if Joe Biden is elected president.

But Trump himself has taken on debt from China. In 2012, his real estate partner refinanced one of Trump’s most prized New York buildings for almost $1 billion. The debt included $211 million from the state-owned Bank of China — its first loan of this kind in the U.S. — which matures in the middle of what could be Trump’s second term.

But Trump does not owe the Bank of China a single dime.

“Bank of China has not had any ownership interest in that loan since late November 2012,” Murtaugh added in the tweet.

“This article and headline were updated to include comment from the Bank of China and additional reporting,” Politico clarified, later adding:

After the first version of this article was published, the Bank of China issued a statement Friday evening stating that it sold its debt on the building weeks after the 2012 loan on the property. Vornado Realty Trust owns 70 percent of the building.

“On November 7, 2012 several financial institutions including the Bank of China participated in a commercial mortgage loan of $950 million to Vornado Realty Trust,” said Peter Reisman, managing director and chief communications officer of Bank of China U.S.A. “Within 22 days, the loan was securitized and sold into the [commercial mortgage-backed securities] market, as is a common practice in the industry. Bank of China has not had any ownership interest in that loan since late November 2012.”

Politico spent the remainder of the report explaining that Trump has repeatedly criticized presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter and their respective ties to China.

“The Trump campaign has steadily increased its focus on trying to portray Biden as weak on China amid rising voter disapproval of China, the source of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump surrogate Corey Lewandowski dubbed him ‘Beijing Biden’ in an online campaign event Wednesday. And during a White House news briefing Saturday, Trump said China will ‘own’ the U.S. if Biden wins,” Politico reported.