'Desperate people do stupid things': Donald Trump Jr.'s disastrous charitable housing venture exposed

'Desperate people do stupid things': Donald Trump Jr.'s disastrous charitable housing venture exposed
Image via Gage Skidmore.

A report from The New Republic details how Donald Trump Jr. once ran a charitable housing venture that aimed to give homes to the world's poor, but that ended in disaster and recriminations with creditors.

The story starts in 2010, when Trump Jr. and a business partner pledged to build "millions" of homes for low-income people by building and shipping prefabricated low-cost housing across the world.

However, the New Republic's investigation was only able to find "a few properties that the company built, including one for the mayor of North Charleston, South Carolina, a major booster of the company, and a handful of kits the company sent abroad."

Investors in the firm were then left "high and dry," the publication writes, and the venture sued its own creditors to avoid repaying the money they owed.

One particularly telling example of how the business operated came when a firm called Tactic Homes agreed to purchase 36,000 housing kits from Trump Jr.'s firm, and was horrified when the firm shipped them crates full of "garbage" housing kits that had "no windows, no doors, no cabinets, no plumbing, no electrical, no cables, no reinforcing bars."

One customer involved in the project described Trump Jr. as a "three-card monte dealer" rather than a legitimate businessman, and former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen told The New Republic that the venture was poorly thought out from the start.

“You know why he ended up getting into this business?” Cohen said of Trump Jr. “Because he wanted to be his own man. He didn’t want to be under the auspices or control of his father for his whole life. He wanted to make money on his own. He was desperate to make money on his own. And desperate people do stupid things.”

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