Maggie Haberman, a New York Times correspondent and CNN analyst, expressed uncertainty about whether former President Donald Trump could afford to pay a $250 million judgment in the ongoing fraud case against him.
The news of Judge Arthur Engoron’s ruling, which found Trump and his company liable for fraud in a case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, broke recently. The suit seeks a $250 million penalty against Trump and his company.
During an appearance on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” host Anderson Cooper asked Haberman about the ruling and whether Trump could pay such a substantial amount if required. Haberman stated that appearing at a debate was unrelated to Trump’s mindset at the moment, and the campaign likely did not see any advantage in his participation.
Regarding Trump’s ability to pay the potential $250 million judgment, Haberman expressed uncertainty about his liquidity and assets, noting that it remained unclear if he could afford such a sum. She mentioned recent cash infusions from sales like the DC hotel and the Bronx golf course license but highlighted that the question of Trump’s actual assets would be tested if the judgment proceeded. Haberman also mentioned Trump’s lawyers making numerous arguments against the legal validity of the case, leaving the outcome uncertain as it progresses.
COOPER: And Maggie, the former president is skipping the Republican debate which happens later tonight. The more legal problems he has doesn’t make him, do you think less interested in facing his opponents? I mean, not that — I mean, he certainly didn’t get harmed by not being there the last time in terms of polls.
HABERMAN: I don’t know. I don’t think that appearing at the debate has much to do with his mindset at the moment. I think that they don’t see advantage in his campaign, because he is so far ahead in the polls.
I do think Anderson that you would see some of his rivals in the Republican primary certainly someone like a Chris Christie use this ruling from the New York judge to try to attack Trump as not what he says he is, and I think that you will hear that in the coming days.
I think the question is going to be how Trump is processing that himself, and how he handles this going forward, because to go back to the earlier question, this company, Trump Tower, these are central to his identity and how he sees himself and I think that seeing that potentially gone is going to have real ramifications just for him personally and psychologically.
COOPER: And Maggie, I mean, is it clear, does he have $250 million, if that was an actual penalty that the company was to pay?
HABERMAN: I’m not sure how liquid he is at the moment and whether he could pay that. I don’t know whether they will get that in damages.
You know, they have had a couple of cash infusions with some sales recently, one the DC hotel, one the license on the Bronx golf course, you know, among other ways that they get cash.
But this is obviously a big question as to what his actual assets are. His folks have insisted that he has a lot of money.
We will find that tested, I think, if this goes ahead. Again, they could win on appeal. His lawyers have made a ton of arguments, arguing this is not legal. We’ll see how it plays out.