Donald Trump buys the New York City Plaza Hotel from future campaign adviser Tom Barrack for somewhere between $390 million and $410 million.
Barrack is working for Texas billionaire investor Robert Bass, who very recently acquired the Plaza Hotel.
A mere four months after Mr. Bass had taken control of the Plaza, he gave Mr. Barrack the go-ahead to put it up for auction. Mr. Trump was calling to say, in effect, skip the auction. We’ll strike a deal, the two of us, right here in my office.
“Just come over,” Mr. Trump said, in Mr. Barrack’s recollection. “Give me half an hour.”The New York Times
Barrack and Trump later appear in Jeffrey Epstein’s contact book, which a former employee stole from Epstein in 2005.
In Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff wrote that Trump, Epstein, and Barrack were a “set of nightlife musketeers” in the ’80s and ’90s.New York Magazine
In 2016, Barrack and Paul Manafort launch the Rebuilding America Now super PAC to fund Trump’s presidential campaign. One of the PAC’s biggest donors is Geoffrey Palmer, a longtime Republican donor. Palmer’s been accused of money laundering campaign contributions and credited as one of the “most controversial” real estate developers in Los Angeles.
Trump names his wife, Ivana Trump, as president of the Plaza Hotel.
In 1995, Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal purchases a controlling stake in the Plaza, saving Trump from bankruptcy. The hotel is sold to Israeli-owned developer El-Ad Properties in 2004.
El-Ad Properties is owned by Yitzhak Tshuva, who Forbes lists as the seventh wealthiest Israeli in 2014. He also owns Israeli conglomerate Delek Group, one of the largest companies in Israel.