By John Gruber
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A transaction of the type the president envisions could also prove more expensive than the one Microsoft described on Sunday. Trump said Monday that part of the amount paid to buy TikTok would have to come to the U.S. Treasury Department because it would be making the deal possible.
“It’s a little bit like the landlord/tenant; without a lease the tenant has nothing, so they pay what’s called ‘key money,’ or they pay something,” Trump said. “But the United States should be reimbursed or should be paid a substantial amount of money, because without the United States they don’t have anything, at least having to do with the 30%.”
You’ve never heard of “key money”? Me neither, before today. But Trump would know it because it’s a term from crooked New York real estate deals. Here’s a 2015 story on “key money” by Virginia K. Smith for the New York real estate site Brick Underground:
“Key money is when you pay a landlord money (usually under the table) to secure an apartment,” says renters rights attorney Sam Himmelstein, who notes that sometimes, it was supers, building managers, or even the tenants themselves who demanded the cash. The practice, unsurprisingly, is illegal — only licensed real estate brokers are allowed to collect commission for an apartment — and has largely fallen by the wayside in recent years. “I haven’t seen it in years,” says Himmelstein, “and most people don’t report it unless they get into a scrape with their landlords.”
But why even agree to this kind of bribe in the first place? Essentially, key money served as a payoff for a lease that held particular value, like that of a rent-stabilized apartment.
That’s how crooked this piece of shit Trump is — he just uses lingo that’s synonymous with illegal kickbacks with no shame.
★ Monday, 3 August 2020