Thomas Barrack Jr., Santa Barbara vineyard and Neverland Ranch owner, polo padrone, investment capital mogul, and Trump consigliere, has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration for COVID-related financial relief, having gotten nearly $2 billion behind on loans he took out to buy what the New York Times described as a “collection” of 160 hotels.
Barrack ran Trump’s Inauguration Committee and donated $271,000 to Trump’s election committee in 2016. It was Barrack who introduced Trump to now-disgraced political consultant Paul Manafort — who briefly ran the Trump campaign and is now serving a seven-and-half-year sentence for loan fraud and a host of financial transgressions summed up by the federal judge who imposed the sentence as “gaming the system.”
Barrack is one of several big-time Trump donors who are now lobbying Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to extend the boundaries of federal COVID relief to include large commercial investment enterprises. Such relief would require congressional approval, and to date, Congress has shown no inclination to oblige. According to reports in the Times, there’s reluctance even from some within the Treasury Department who worry about squandering public tax dollars on companies, known as “zombies,” that have little chance of recovering.
Every day, the staff of the Santa Barbara Independent works hard to sort out truth from rumor and keep you informed of what’s happening across the entire Santa Barbara community. Now there’s a way to directly enable these efforts. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.