ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Donald Trump wrote “The Art Of The Deal,” but it was Florida’s Seminole Indians who made a truly amazing deal to buy the opulent casino built by the man who is now president.
The Trump Taj Mahal, the Atlantic City casino that the real estate mogul built for $1.2 billion in 1990, went for 4 cents on the dollar when it was sold in March. Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday revealed the price that billionaire Carl Icahn got from Hard Rock International for the shuttered casino: $50 million. The sale was publicized at the time, though the purchase price wasn’t.Icahn, now 81, is a legendary corporate raider and hedge fund operator who took the President's failing Atlantic City casinos off his hands and took a $350 million bath for his trouble.
Trump repaid Icahn by making him an informal personal advisor on deregulating industries in which Icahn has investments last December. The day after the appointment was announced, Icahn made $510 million on the stock market, earning back his Trump losses, one might say, in spades.
Among Icahn's first moves was pressing the appointment of Scott Pruitt to run EPA. Pruitt recently suspended the work of 200 agency science committees to give him time to replace their members will employees of regulated industries. His financial bets on energy policy have just triggered demands in Congress for an investigation.
Icahn also pushed fellow billionaire octogenarian Wilbur Ross to run the Commerce Department; long touted as Trump's pick for Treasury, Icahn declined the laurel and got his protege Steven Mnuchin installed there. He's also involved with vetting potential nominees to run the Securities & Exchange Commission.