Donald Trump's Atlantic City Business Dealings Spark Controversy Following The First Debate

Republican nominee Donald Trump gestures during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. / AFP / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

You've heard about Donald Trump's businesses, right? Perhaps you've heard of his Atlantic City casino, the Taj Mahal, that was the biggest and most beautiful edifice that New Jersey had ever seen. That is, until the project allegedly forced Trump to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the first of four times that one of Trump's casinos would reportedly face such a filing. Still, Trump has continued to brag about his business acumen, using it as one of his major selling points against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. But one Twitter user in particular has had enough of Trump's misrepresentation about what, exactly, happened to Trump's business dealings in Atlantic City, and she went on a tweetstorm to offer clarification. 

Trump's time in Atlantic City is often trotted out as evidence that he isn't quite as good at business as he claims to be. And believe me, he definitely claims to be good at it. During Monday night's debate, Trump once again offered his business expertise as evidence that he would make a good president. "I am very under leveraged. I have a great company. I have tremendous income," he said. "And the reason I say it is not a braggadocio's way. It’s because it is about time that this country had somebody running it that has an idea about money."

However, Clinton took issue with this during the first debate, highlighting that Trump's businesses are often seemingly built up at the expense of others. "If your main claim to be president of the United States is your business, then I think we should talk about that," she said. "You know your campaign manager said that you built a lot of businesses on the backs of little guys."

Clinton brought up a point that many people echoed on Twitter: that Trump's business dealings seem to take advantage of the less fortunate without abandon. This seemed to prompt Arielle Brousse, who describes herself on Twitter as the development director of Kelly Writers House, the vice president of operations for the Philadelphia-based Spruce Foundation, and — most importantly for the following yarn — an Atlantic City native, to speak out against Trump's narrative. 

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/thewordunheard/status/780604752593903616]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/thewordunheard/status/780604929639612417]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/thewordunheard/status/780605188327473153]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/thewordunheard/status/780605813819895808]

Brousse's accusations claimed that Trump's promised profit to Atlantic City ultimately wreaked havoc on the people that he allegedly failed to pay and the community at large. Clinton dove into the personal side of that during Monday's debate, though it wasn't necessarily linked to Atlantic City directly. Clinton said during the debate:

"And indeed I have met a lot of the people who were stiffed by you and your businesses Donald. I've met dishwashers, painters, architects, glass installers, marble installers, drapery installers like my dad was, who you refused to pay when they finished the work that you asked them to do. We have an architect in the audience who designed one of your clubhouses at one of your golf courses. It's a beautiful facility. It immediately was put to use. And you would not pay what the man needed to be paid when he was charging you."

Trump countered that he might have been unsatisfied with the quality of work, to which Clinton said:

"Do the thousands of people that you have stiffed over the course of the business not deserve some kind of apology from someone who has taken their labor, taken the goods that they produced, and then refused to pay them? I can only say that I am certainly relieved that my late father never did business with you. He provided a good middle-class life for us but the people he worked for, he expected the bargain to be kept on both sides. And when we talk about your business, you have taken business bankruptcy six times."
This seemed to be at the heart of Brousse's impassioned argument on Twitter. And Brousse wasn't the only one to weigh in.
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/dsantat/status/780589838416224256]

Trump's debacle in Atlantic City shouldn't just be hailed as a bad business deal, but one that may have had a detrimental effect on the people involved who don't have the last name Trump. The real shame in all of this is that his business decisions may have allegedly left many unpaid for hard work. Brousse, and others like her with personal stories to tell from Atlantic City, know that first hand. 

Must Reads