Donald Trump’s Chicago: President’s web of connections come into the spotlight

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President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order to make it easier for small businesses to group together to provide their workers with retirement plans. | AP file photo

You don’t get more New York than Donald Trump. But the president’s ties to Chicago — directly and also through family, friends and associates — run deep, well beyond his namesake tower along the Chicago River.

Some of those connections are likely to be spotlighted as former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort goes on trial Tuesday in Virginia in a bank- and tax-fraud case. That trial in part involves millions of dollars in loans he got from a Chicago banker who around the same time was asking the Pentagon about the process to be named secretary of the Army.

Here’s a quick look at some of the people in Trump’s Chicago universe.

  1. Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Has gotten campaign contributions from Trump and the president’s pal David J. Pecker, who runs the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, Inc. In a lawsuit, the company was accused of trying to protect Trump’s image in the run-up to the 2016 election by buying — and then killing — a story about a former Playboy model’s allegations of an affair with Trump.

  1. Ari Emanuel

Brother of Rahm Emanuel, Hollywood agent. Formerly represented Trump. Has done business with Pecker’s previous company. At Ari Emanuel’s request, Trump gave Emanuel’s campaign $50,000 in 2010.

  1. Stephen M. Calk

Was on Trump campaign’s economic advisory panel. Heads Chicago’s Federal Savings Bank, which has come under scrutiny over $16 million in loans given to Manafort while inquiring about Army appointment. The bank received $3.6 million in taxpayer subsidies from the Emanuel administration.

  1. Paul Manafort

Former Trump campaign chief under indictment in cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. Got $16 million in loans from Calk’s Federal Savings Bank as Calk inquired about federal appointment. Two people who appear to be current or former Federal Savings Bank employees have been given “use immunity” to testify at Manafort’s trial.

  1. David J. Pecker

Runs National Enquirer parent American Media, Inc., which was accused in a lawsuit of covering for Trump ahead of election. Longtime associate of Ari Emanuel and Rahm Emanuel, who, according to a Pecker associate, was “an adviser” to Pecker’s former business while the future mayor worked as an investment banker. Donor to mayor’s campaign. Close friend of Trump.

  1. George Papadopoulos

Chicagoan is a former Trump campaign adviser. Niles West and DePaul grad pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities about his Russian contacts during special counsel’s investigation of Russian meddling in 2016 election.

  1. Michael Cohen

Longtime Trump personal attorney under investigation by special counsel. Owns taxi medallions in Chicago. According to news reports, spoke with Trump about whether to buy the rights to story of alleged affair with ex-Playboy model from Pecker’s American Media.

  1. Symon Garber

New York cab operator who once managed cabs for Cohen. Set up operations in Chicago after meeting then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s son Patrick Daley in Moscow, now runs largest fleet of cabs in Chicago.

  1. Ald. Edward M. Burke

Southwest Side alderman whose Chicago law firm saved Trump more than $14 million in property taxes by contesting the value of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. Stopped representing Trump in May.

  1. Evgeny Freidman

Taxi mogul in New York and Chicago who managed cab medallions for Trump lawyer Cohen. Recently pleaded guilty to failing to pay $5 million in taxes on his New York cabs.

  1. Jared Kushner

Trump’s son-in-law. Bought the AT&T building in the Loop a few years ago, leasing it back to the telecommunications company. AT&T uses Burke’s law firm to seek tax breaks on the building.

  1. Semyon Shtayner

Taxi mogul from New York whose family manages taxi medallions in Chicago, including 10 owned by Cohen. Has a $1.3 million line of credit from First Eagle Bank in Chicago, which he used to obtain a license to grow marijuana in Nevada. Owns condos in Trump developments.

  1. Fima Shusterman

Father-in-law of Cohen. Lent at least $20 million to Shtayner’s wife since last August, placing mortgages against condos and other property she owns in Chicago. Owns condos in Trump developments.

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