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Companies with Trump ties got coronavirus small business loans

U.S. President Donald Trump hosts an event on reopening schools amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 7, 2020.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

Multiple businesses with ties to President Donald Trump received millions of dollars in small business relief loans backed by the administration. 

Trump is linked to the firms and their executives through business deals conducted with his company, the Trump Organization, as well as through financial support for his 2016 run for president, his inauguration and his 2020 reelection campaign. 

The names of more than 660,000 businesses that were approved for Paycheck Protection Program loans were revealed on Monday by the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration. Loans went to companies both small and large as the coronavirus pandemic swept through the country. 

Other businesses that are led by people with strong allegiances to the president received aid, as well. An analysis by the Associated Press shows that as much as $273 million was loaned to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by donors to Trump.

G.H. Palmer Associates, a real estate firm run by longtime Trump backer Geoffrey Palmer, was approved for a loan. The company is listed as “G.H. Palmer Inc.” on the list of loans that were distributed, but the address of the company matches that of Palmer’s real estate firm in Beverly Hills, California. The company was approved for a loan worth $350,000 to $1 million. 

Palmer has been close to Trump for years. He was one of many corporate leaders of Trump’s coronavirus business advisory council and has combined to give at least $4 million to pro-Trump super PAC America First Action, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.  

Dezer Development, a real estate company founded by Michael Dezer, says on its website that it has the same address as Trump International Beach Resort in Miami, Florida. The Dezer website says that its “branded real estate portfolio includes six-Trump branded towers.” Dezer got between $350,000 and $1 million from PPP.

Then there’s White Stallion Energy, a coal mining company out of Indiana, which is owned by Steven Chancellor. The coal executive reportedly met with former EPA chief Scott Pruitt to discuss the softening of a pollution law. White Stallion gave $175,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee. Below, he is shown shaking Trump’s hand, along with Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, when the president visited the state in 2018. White Stallion saw between $5 million and $10 million in PPP loans.

The business executives mentioned in this story did not respond to requests for comment. 

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