Jack O'Donnell, former Trump executive, visited The Beat to talk all about Donald Trump's history of shady business and accounting practices.
May 28, 2021

Former Trump executive, Jack O'Donnell, joined Ari Melber on his show, The Beat, to talk about the current grand jury investigation swirling around Donald Trump and his company. O'Donnell shared some pretty interesting information about what he observed during his time working with the Trump Organization, Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg and the Trump kids. Mainly, all about their shady business practices and how Donald Trump gets people to do things, like change numbers in the books, so help him.

MELBER: Let's do some rapidfire Q and A, first and then, we can go into depth. Briefly, have you ever met Allen Weisselberg?

O'DONNELL: Yes, I have. Met him just once.

MELBER: Yeah, you met him once. Did you have a sense of his reputation and role within the company, when you were doing your work in Atlantic City?

O'DONNELL: All numbers pass through Allen, regardless of what entity you were associated with.

MELBER: Did you have a sense that Allen and Allen, on behalf of Donald Trump, at that time, or at any other, later time you are aware of, were cognizant of the idea that regulators or even criminal investigators would later be reviewing what they were doing? The claims they were making about money?

O'DONNELL: Clearly, in New Jersey, the regulatory process was key and all numbers were going to be reviewed by the division and the commission in New Jersey, for sure.

MELBER: And my last, quick question, and then, we'll get into it. When you heard this news, that apparently has shaken up Trump world that this is not just another review or another audit. But that, there is now an impaneled criminal grand jury, were you surprised? Or did that seem long overdue?

O'DONNELL: Not surprised, at all. The behavior has been going on for decades and in my position, I would say, about time.

MELBER: Hmm. All right. This concludes our opening sequence. Let's get -- let's imagine you are in the jury box and really get into it, sir. As a witness, what did you see about the way they deal with money that, either, matches or departs from the central allegations here, which we have been reporting on? That include, what Cohen said about inflation, and -- and documented or repeat-tax evasion?

O'DONNELL: Well, it's all about money with Donald. Everything centers around money with Donald and the organization. And there's two forms of money. There's cash and then, there's what's on a piece of paper. Okay? And they don't, necessarily, have to look the same. Or they don't have to total up the same. The numbers can mean something different. That was very clear. and -- and -- and I actually went through, you know, a situation where I was asked to, literally, build false financials for my business. So I know the numbers don't have to equal each other.

MELBER: Who requested that?

O'DONNELL: Very specifically, three people were involved in -- in asking me to redo the numbers. Robert Trump, his brother. Harvey Freeman, who was his attorney, at the time. And Donald Trump, also. it took place --

MELBER: That kind of direct request. Go ahead.

O'DONNELL: Well, the direct request came. I submit -- the -- the process then was every entity in the organization submitted their -- their budgets to New York. And in this case, this was the year that the Taj Mahal was going to open so there was a lot of scrutiny. When I submitted my numbers, I was summoned to New York and I was first put in a room with Robert and Harvey and they said these numbers don't -- won't work. We can't go backwards. The numbers have to go up. I said, well, we are having a 20% increase in capacity. Everybody's numbers are going to go down. They said, can't have it. Allen won't accept it. Donald won't accept it. Have to redo the numbers. After that meeting, I then went into Donald's office. and Donald said, did Robert and Harvey talk to you about the numbers? And I said, yes, they did. But let me explain why I can't redo the numbers, because they won't be true. And he just said, we need new numbers.

Well. That sort of matches up with what others have said - that Trump and his executives like to 'cook the books' or make things look different than they really are. If you do that in taxes, let's say, that is a fraud or tax evasion. After this exchange, Ari came in with the question on everyone's mind:

MELBER: Have you been contacted by the New York D.A. or any New York investigators?

O'DONNELL: I have not, no. I have testified in other cases, but I have not been contacted.

MELBER: Would you freely cooperate if they were looking to establish a pattern and practice? Even though, some of this would probably be too old to prosecute?

O'DONNELL: Yeah, of course, I would. I have been speaking up about Donald Trump, now, since the -- the '90s. and -- and -- and, I -- of course, I would.

I suspect Mr. O'Donnell may be getting a phone call at some point, if for no other reason than to enlighten investigators into the decades of fraud that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have been committing, even if the crimes O'Donnell witnessed are past the statute of limitations.

One of the best quotes:

"The kind of paper that they're going to be stacking, very soon, is not going to be dollars. It's going to be indictments."

Another stellar guest on The Beat. I love when they bring folks on that knew Trump way back when...shows that he has been a conman, a grifter and a criminal from Day 1.

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