How the firm behind Trump’s $175 million bond deal was formed

Knight Specialty Insurance Writes $175 Million Bond for Donald Trump, Dropping his Credit Score to an All-Time Low

Knight Specialty Insurance, a California-based company known for offering subprime auto loans to buyers with lower credit scores, recently underwrote a $175 million bond for former President Donald Trump in New York. The chairman and majority shareholder of Knight Specialty, Don Hankey, spoke with CNN about the deal and revealed that Trump put up all cash as collateral for the bond.

Hankey had initially contacted the Trump Organization last month when the former president was struggling to secure a $464 million bond. Eventually, the bond amount was reduced to $175 million by a New York appeals court, leading the Trump team to reconnect with Knight Specialty. Hankey mentioned that he has supported Trump’s presidential campaigns in the past and intends to support him in the 2024 elections but has not heard from the president directly. Eric Trump did reach out to thank him for the business.

This is not the first time Hankey’s dealings have intersected with Trump’s businesses. In 2022, Axos Bank lent Trump $100 million to refinance the mortgage on Trump Tower. Hankey, a leading shareholder in Axos at the time of the loan, claimed he was unaware of the transaction. Despite their past interactions, Hankey said that he would have assisted anyone in a similar situation and that this recent bond deal with Knight Specialty was purely a business arrangement.

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