NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (UPI) — Donald Trump said Monday “I have very little debt” in response to a New York Times report that the presidential candidate has at least $650 million in debt among the companies he owns.
The Times report published Saturday documented the figure, which is twice the amount listed in a 104-page financial disclosure in his bid for president.
“Well, the value — if the value is $11 billion, it’s a very small amount of debt,” Trump said on Fox Friends in a telephone interview Monday. “I have very little debt relative to the assets. I have massive assets.”
Trump added, “I think I have less than 5 percent or so in debt, which is a very low debt.”
The Times discovered much of his wealth is tied up in three passive partnerships that owe an additional $2 billion to lenders, including those holding the $950 million loan on the Avenue of the Americas building in Manhattan. Trump would not be held liable if those loans go into default, the Trump organization said.
The Times noted the lenders of the Avenue of the Americas building include the Bank of China, a bank in a country that Trump has complained about with an unfair trade advantage.
“Now, the smart people that read that story thought it was a good story,” Trump said to Fox. “Some people didn’t understand the story, but when you get to $300 million or $600 million, but you have massive buildings and big assets that’s a very small amount of money. I have very little debt.”
Trump has previously bragged that he’s the “king of debt.”
“I’m great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me,” Trump told CBS in June. “I’ve made a fortune by using debt, and if things don’t work out I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that’s a smart thing, not a stupid thing.”
But Trump said that he does not like national debt.
“It’s going to be very soon $21 trillion… And I will tell you, we are sitting on a time bomb and Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a clue. And President [Barack] Obama has pretty much doubled the debt since he’s been in office and somebody’s going to pay a big price. We have to start chopping that debt down,” Trump said to CBS.