According to Mother Jones, President Donald Trump, in 2018, borrowed millions of dollars from a small Florida bank called Professional Bank. And only a few months later, its CEO, Abel Iglesias, was appointed to the Miami branch of the Atlanta Federal Reserve board of directors.
Trump’s most recent financial disclosures, released last week, reveal that the president borrowed anywhere from $5 million to $25 million from Professional Bank in May 2018. Trump used that loan to purchase 1125 South Ocean Ave, the mansion located next to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and owned by his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry.
Land records indicate that Trump’s latest loan was roughly $11.2 million.
The house was initially listed for rent on the Trump International Realty website for an exuberant $100,000 a month. The house, as of May 22, is still available, though at a discounted $81,250 a month.
Legal ethics professor at Washington University in St. Louis Kathleen Clark said that the fact that Trump, a sitting president, is taking out loans for his own personal business has a huge potential for conflicts of interest.
“The concern is that the president would be treated differently by the bank,” Clark said. “There’s actually a record of banks having a VIP program and treating politically powerful people differently than everyone else. So this is a concern that is well grounded in past practice.”
An Atlanta Fed spokeswoman, Jean Tate, claimed that it was the decision of the regional bank’s director board to hire Iglesias. When asked if the White House had any influence on the appointment, she would only say, “We are independent.”