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Revealing how the firm behind Trump’s $175 million bond deal came together

Knight Specialty Insurance, a California-based lender known for offering subprime auto loans to individuals with weaker credit scores, recently underwrote former President Donald Trump’s $175 million bond in New York. The transaction came together quickly, with Trump providing all cash as collateral.

Having supported Trump’s presidential campaigns in the past, Don Hankey, the chairman and majority shareholder of Knight Specialty Insurance, spoke with CNN about the deal. He stated that he reached out to the Trump Organization when the former president encountered difficulties putting together a $464 million bond. After the New York appeals court lowered the bond amount to $175 million, Trump’s team approached Knight Specialty once again. Initially planning to use a mix of investment-grade bonds and cash as collateral, Trump ultimately decided to provide all cash.

Hankey confirmed that both he and his family have donated to Trump’s campaigns and have plans to support him in the 2024 election. While he has not heard from the president directly, Eric Trump reached out to thank him for the recent business dealings. This isn’t the first time Hankey and Trump’s businesses have been connected: Axos Bank, another California lender where he is a leading shareholder, loaned Trump $100 million to refinance the mortgage on Trump Tower in 2022 – a deal that Hankey was unaware of at the time.

By Samantha Jones

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