President Donald Trump speaks on the coronavirus in the James Brady press conference room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. AP Photo / Alex Brandon

Fight disinformation. Get a daily rundown of the facts that matter. Subscribe to free Mother Jones bulletin.

Donald Trump’s company has asked its main lender, German financial giant Deutsche Bank, to take a break from repaying some of its loans. The Trump organization has also asked Palm Beach County for similar leeway over rent payments the president owes on one of its golf courses in Florida. the New York Times reports that Trump Org executives made the requests recently, citing the global financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has been devastating for much of the US economy, particularly the travel industry. In recent years, three-quarters of Trump’s income has come from his travel-related activities. Almost all of Trump’s properties are closed; some barely work, with limited offers. In total, the Trump Organization has laid off or fired more than 1,000 employees. Closures could cost the president dearly up to $ 680,000 in income per day.

When Trump became president, he refused to part with his business empire. At the time, ethics experts were concerned about the potential for a major conflict of interest if the incumbent US President were ever to ask one of his lenders or business partners to change their existing agreements – the scenario exact that is currently playing.

Deutsche Bank has always At the top of the list of potential conflicts between the president and one of his business partners. Long after other Wall Street banks decided to stop lending to Trump over past business failures, Trump developed a relationship with the German bank’s private wealth management division, which currently holds four Trump loans. In addition to loaning him $ 160 million in 2015 to finance the opening of his luxury hotel in Washington, he made two loans, totaling $ 125 million, to finance the purchase and redevelopment of the Doral golf course in Miami. The bank also loaned Trump $ 69 million to refinance debt related to his Chicago tower. While the Trump Organization has always maintained that its debt level is not particularly high relative to the value of its properties, it must nonetheless continue to repay its loans, which is difficult to do when no money is coming in.

According to Time, executives of the Trump Organization approached Deutsche Bank about possibly delaying payments on at least some of the loans. Eric Trump, the president’s second son, told the Time that it’s no different than any other business does:

“Today everyone is working together,” said Eric Trump, the president’s son, who runs the family business. “Tenants work with landlords, landlords work with banks. The whole world is working together as we fight this pandemic. “

This may be true, but the loans Trump has with Deutsche Bank are personally guaranteed, meaning if the president is unable to repay them, Deutsche Bank could go after personal assets. of the President of the United States to settle the debt. We are examining the possibility of a face-to-face meeting between the most powerful politician on the planet and a German bank that has struggled financially in recent years and that has had problems with US law enforcement and law enforcement officials. banking regulators, all in the shadow of a global crisis. . It’s approximately the worst-case scenario put forward by ethics experts when Trump took office and refused to sell his assets. .

the Time also reported that Trump executives have approached Palm Beach County officials for a break on the rent the president owes the county. Trump does not actually own the land under his Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach, one of his favorite courses to visit on his frequent presidential golf outings; he just rents it to the county.

It is not known whether Deutsche Bank or Palm Beach County will give the president some leeway, and discussions remain preliminary, the Time reports.