President Donald Trump exploded at his former lawyer, John Dowd, after reading news reports that said the special counsel Robert Mueller had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, journalist Bob Woodward reported in his upcoming book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” which Business Insider obtained and reviewed.
After learning of the news regarding Mueller and Deutsche Bank, a primary lender to the president, Woodward wrote that a furious Trump phoned Dowd at 7 a.m.
“I know my relationships with Deutsche Bank,” Trump told Dowd, with Woodward writing that the president said the bank loved him and was always paid for its loans. “I know what I borrowed, when I borrowed, when I paid it back. I know every godd— one.”
Trump added that “this is bulls—!”
Dowd then spoke with Jim Quarles, a member of Mueller’s team who was also an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate probe. Dowd repeated Trump’s assertion that “this is bulls—.”
During a conference call, Quarles said that Mueller’s team had subpoenas issued to Deutsche Bank “way back in the summertime, but it doesn’t involve the president or his finances.”
The New York Times reported earlier this year that those reports led to Trump seeking to fire Mueller in December. But Trump backed down once the initial news reports, which said the subpoenas were aimed at Trump’s and his family’s dealings with the bank, were inaccurate. Instead, The Times reported that federal prosecutors in a separate inquiry issued a subpoena for entities that were connected to White House senior adviser and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The relationship between Trump and the German bank dates back two decades, a time when major Wall Street firms would no longer loan Trump money following a series of disastrous ventures such as the Trump Shuttle and Trump’s Atlantic City casinos.
Prior to Trump’s election as president, his financial disclosures showed he held roughly $360 million in debt to the bank, with about $125 million in two mortgages for one of the president’s major Florida golf courses, Trump National Doral, The Washington Post reported.
Deutsche Bank was under investigation by the Justice Department for both its role in a “mirror trading” scheme with Russian oligarchs that allowed them to launder cash out of Russia in the face of US sanctions, and for its mortgage practices amid the financial crisis, which regulators sought a $14 billion fine for. Deutsche Bank ended up settling with the government on the mortgage front for $7.2 billion just days before Trump took office last January.
Last July, The Times reported that US banking regulators were reviewing the hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Deutsche Bank made to Trump over the past two decades. It was in the same story that The Times reported that the bank was in contact with federal investigators related to the special counsel’s probe. Sources said the bank was expecting it would have to turn over information on Trump’s accounts to Mueller.