Trump Biographer Issues Most Obvious Warning To Trump's Potential Saviors

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston cautioned people who may be thinking about helping former President Donald Trump out amid his growing money woes.

“Anybody who loans the money runs the risk that when he loses his appeal, as he’s likely to do, then he’s going to fight collection with them because that’s how he does business,” Johnston, a biographer of the four-times-indicted ex-president, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday.

Trump has been ordered to pay a total of $88.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll after being found liable for sexual abuse and defamation. On top of that, the Republican presidential front-runner was hit with a $355 million penalty, plus interest, in his New York state civil fraud trial. The total he owes rises daily as more interest accumulates.

Trump’s PAC spent around $50 million on his legal fees in 2023. On Wednesday, Trump’s legal team offered to post a $100 million bond while appealing the civil fraud trial ruling. The request was rejected. His lawyers have also argued he shouldn’t be required to post bond as he fights the judgment in the Carroll case.

Johnston doubted Trump had the money on hand to pay or even to put up bonds during the appeals. There may be some business ventures he can obtain the money from, but the clock continues to tick on handing it over, he added.

“If Donald really was worth the $10 billion he claims, this wouldn’t be a problem, it would be an annoyance,” Johnston said. “Instead, it’s a crisis because he’s not worth anywhere near that.”

Johnston wrote the 2016 biography “The Making of Donald Trump” and 2021’s “The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family.” He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his reporting in The New York Times on inequities in the U.S. tax code.