Trump’s story about veteran’s comeback was a lie

chipotle

Surprise, surprise.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Rankins, a formerly homeless, drug-addicted Army veteran, got a standing ovation at the State of the Union after President Donald Trump described how he turned his life around thanks to a construction job at a company using the administration’s “Opportunity Zone” tax breaks targeting poor neighborhoods.

But that’s not completely true.

Rankins, who indeed moved out of his car and into an apartment since landing a job refurbishing a Nashville hotel two years ago, doesn’t work at a site taking advantage of the breaks and never has done so. In fact, he started that job four months before the Treasury Department published its final list of neighborhoods eligible for the breaks. And the hotel where he worked couldn’t benefit even now because it’s an area that didn’t make the cut.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Rankins said he always considered the job that launched him on his new life two years ago to be in an Opportunity Zone and was honored to be invited by the White House to the State of the Union, with a prime seat in the balcony next to Ivanka Trump.

“After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, his house and his family. He was homeless. But then Tony found a construction company that invests in Opportunity Zones,” the president said in his Feb. 4 speech. “He is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family.”

Days later, Trump doubled down on the Rankins story in a speech on his economic initiatives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and invited him up to say a few words.

“First of all, I would like to thank the president for signing this bill, because without it I wouldn’t be standing here before you right now,” Rankins said.

Trump also praised Rankins’ employer, R Investments, for “working to help 200 people rise out of homelessness every year by investing in opportunity zones.”

That is also not quite true.

CEO Travis Steffens said he has hired hundreds of homeless to work at the 400 buildings the company has owned over the years, taking advantage of various tax breaks. But when it comes to Trump’s Opportunity Zone breaks, he said, the company has only one building tapping the program now, a warehouse in Cincinnati where no one seems to be working, homeless or otherwise.

“We’ve not really worked there,” Rankins said, “but we’ve stored things over there.”

https://apnews.com/2722fe07cc220914f6772272e15b0c6d?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_medium=AP&utm_source=Twitter

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Comments (34)
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leona_2008

Surprise. Surprise.

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ohiomom

Let me know when the trump tells the truth ... that will be yuge news (^_^)

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Kathy

Everything is a production. There is no sincerity involved. Trump is only concerned what’s in it for him.

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51gerri

Trump will do his best to hurt this company and put them out of business. Anyone who stands against him has to be punished.

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petalique

The lawless reality TV “victimized” IMpostus.

Captain Queeg is looking normal.


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murraysmom Zone 6a OH(6a)

I live in Cincinnati and this guy was all over our local news as a local man being lauded by the president. https://local12.com/news/local/local-vet-who-overcame-homelessness-drug-addiction-will-be-presidential-guest-at-sotu-cincinnati


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Annie Deighnaugh

It figures...

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margaritadina

Why did this man excepted the invitation then ?To get some hype?

All you are saying is that black drug addict takes advantage of the system and lets the president down with his unwillingness to work and his lies.

Trump never said it had to do with a tax break. It had to do with employers giving ex-felons a 2nd chance. Typical fake liberal news.

Good job.

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foodonastump

Trump made the clear implication that this man was given a second chance as a result of his Opportunity Zones. Typical minimally truth-based Trump/Trumpster bluster.

Good job.

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foodonastump

All you are saying is that black drug addict takes advantage of the system and lets the president down with his unwillingness to work and his lies.


On what basis are you making that up? From what I believe we know, he did pick up his life and he is working for a company that gave him a second chance, it just has nothing to do with Trump’s Opportunity Zones.

No indication that Rankins lied; regardless of how he became known to Trump, one would think that the link to Opportunity Zones would be vetted before putting him in the spotlight.

On second thought no, one should not assume such competence.

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dandyfopp


Knowing it is a lie but choosing to believe it is true anyway.

Wow, where have I heard that before.


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socks(10a)

His base lapped it up at the SOTU. His lies are no problem.

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adoptedbyhounds

His base understands that Opportunity Zones are geographical locations.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

FTA:

”In fact, he started that job four months before the Treasury Department published its final list of neighborhoods eligible for the breaks. And the hotel where he worked couldn’t benefit even now because it’s an area that didn’t make the cut.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Seriously - this is unsurprising, and par for the course with these guys, isn't it?

Opportunity Zones have been shown to be mostly huge opportunities for developers to avoid paying taxes.

Reminds me of GWBush administration's various initiatives that were ploys to pad the bank accounts of GOP & cronies.

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maddie260

dt would lie if the truth would help him.

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adoptedbyhounds

”In fact, he started that job four months before the Treasury Department published its final list of neighborhoods eligible for the breaks. And the hotel where he worked couldn’t benefit even now because it’s an area that didn’t make the cut.

The above refers to Nashville, where his employer, R Investments hired him two years ago. That is where he acquired the job skills he is now able to use. He currently works in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

FTA:

Rankins, who indeed moved out of his car and into an apartment since landing a job refurbishing a Nashville hotel two years ago, doesn’t work at a site taking advantage of the breaks and never has done so.

I can’t seem to find a media source that says he works within an opportunity zone now, and his employer says he doesn’t. I am more than willing to read any source that does confirm that he works in an opportunity zone, if anyone can post one.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

By the way, I want to make it really clear that I’m happy for Tony Rankins. It is always great to hear a success story like this.

I doubt that he knew whether or not he was employed through this program and I wouldn’t expect him to have that information.

I don’t hold Trump responsible for the slip up either insofar as the first mistake was made. He has People for that and clearly they aren’t as Best as he had hoped or they would have done a better job of finding someone to exemplify this particular program.

I do, of course, hold Trump responsible for once again failing to simply admit that he made a mistake. There were so many ways to pivot away from this hole but all he knows is dig dig dig.

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adoptedbyhounds

"I can’t seem to find a media source that says he works within an opportunity zone now, and his employer says he doesn’t. I am more than willing to read any source that does confirm that he works in an opportunity zone, if anyone can post one."

Me too. I can't find a source claiming every building within an opportunity zone is eligible for a tax advantage. Mr. Rankins continues to work for R Investments in Cincinnati. Does that mean he is not working in an opportunity zone?

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“Does that mean he is not working in an opportunity zone?”

yes, per the information given in the article and the statement made by his employer.

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margaritadina

''

chipotle

Surprise, surprise.

''

Here is a surprise for you, chipotle.

''Tony Rankins: An opportunity for people to get back on their feet''

''I'd like to thank the President for signing this Bill because without it I wouldn't be standing here before you right now. It means a lot to me....I was homeless ...this Bill has been passed and there gonna be an opportunity for a lot of people not be homeless.....''

https://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse/videos/642087643284752/

Tony Rankins himself thanks Trump.

Another day, another liberal LIE.



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Kathy

Who knows what Trump gave him to appear at the SOTU?

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margaritadina

here is another video of Tony Rankins

''I was thinking about how grateful for the opportunity for what President did passing a Bill that give us an opportunity ''

https://finance.yahoo.com/video/tony-rankins-trumps-state-union-163549757.html


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chipotle

Kathy, I'm sure Trump had some token for him.


I was told someone didn't read the article about Trump's lie. That's no surprise.

"Rankins, who indeed moved out of his car and into an apartment since landing a job refurbishing a Nashville hotel two years ago, doesn’t work at a site taking advantage of the breaks and never has done so. In fact, he started that job four months before the Treasury Department published its final list of neighborhoods eligible for the breaks. And the hotel where he worked couldn’t benefit even now because it’s an area that didn’t make the cut."



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adoptedbyhounds

Does that mean he is not working in an opportunity zone?


yes, per the information given in the article and the statement made by his employer.


An Opportunity Zone is a geographical location. Where is it stated that employment in an OZ is limited to jobs created by investors participating in the government's tax program?

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

“An Opportunity Zone is a geographical location. Where is it stated that employment in an OZ is limited to jobs created by investors participating in the government's tax program?”

Where is it stated that Tony Rankin is employed because of the opportunity zone program, except in Donald Trump’s imagination?

If Tony happens to work in the geographical area captured in the Opportunity Zone program and he is *not* part of the program than it’s pretty silly for the President to continue insisting he has benefitted from it, right?

Tony Rankin’s EMPLOYER says he is not part of that program.

Here is a useful map. Not all of Cincinnati is covered by the Opportunity Zone program.

https://www.lisc.org/media/filer_public/98/cf/98cfd71d-ca24-4590-be3b-62b4b4c09a82/opportunity_zones_introduction_cinc_8-22-18.pdf

I’m willing to believe that Tony Rankin is a little confused about whether or not he benefitted from the Opportunity Zone designation. Frankly the only important thing to me is that Tony is doing well and continues to do well.

But Trump is LYING when he says that Tony is a participant in the program—he’s not.

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chipotle

But Trump is LYING when he says that Tony is a participant in the program—he’s not.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Update:

"White House defends Trump after AP report on homeless vet

The White House defended President Donald Trump on Friday after an Associated Press report that he stretched the truth in his State of the Union account of a formerly homeless veteran who turned his life around with a job at a company that is taking advantage of Opportunity Zone tax breaks.

The AP report found that construction worker Tony Rankins, who was introduced to a standing ovation at the State of the Union, doesn't work at a site taking advantage of the breaks and has never done so. In fact, the hotel renovation job that he credits for his comeback two years ago isn't even in an Opportunity Zone

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the AP took "the disgusting path of trying to distort the story of a man and a company who are benefiting from a monumental program,” noting that Rankins' employer invests in Opportunity Zones and Rankins currently works at a Cincinnati building in a zone. AP reported that, but also found that the building is not taking advantage of the breaks and his employer has only one project using them.

“Tony found a company that invests in Opportunity Zones and he is now drug free, reunited with his family, and helping to rebuild his community and his own life,” Deere said. "The theme of the President’s speech was ‘A Great American Comeback’ and Tony Rankins is part of the comeback.”

The Opportunity Zone program passed as part of Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul offers investors big savings in capital gains taxes if they put money into more than 8,000 poor neighborhoods designated by the Treasury Department as neglected and needing the help. Trump has touted the program in several speeches as an example of how he is helping African-Americans.

Rankins' story was one of several State of the Union introductions that appeared to be overtures to black voters, and the second to be shown to be less than truthful. Trump announced that a Philadelphia fourth-grader would be getting a scholarship that would allow her to transfer from a “failing government” school to a charter school of her choice. But The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that she had already been attending a charter school for months."

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/white-house-defends-trump-ap-224924127.html

---------------------

So it's kinda true--which makes it true? Hmm. . . . .

Kate

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Kathy

Who benefitted from those opportunity zones was Ivanka and Jared.




There have long been questions about the conflicts of interests surrounding Jared Kushnerand Ivanka Trump in their tenures in the Trump administration. The latest: an investigationoutlining how the pair stands to benefit from a tax break they pushed to get passed.

The Associated Press on Wednesday outlined how Kushner and Trump could make money off the so-called “Opportunity Zone” program that was passed as part of the Republican tax bill in 2017. The program is meant to encourage investment in low-income urban and rural communities by giving preferential tax treatment to those who build and invest there.

Kushner and Trump both have significant interests in real estate — and pushed to get the Opportunity Zone program passed.

On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order directing more resources to the program.


https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/12/12/18137834/jared-kushner-ivanka-trump-opportunity-zone



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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)
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bob_cville

News flash: Trump Lies. and his supporters do mental gymnastics to characterize what is clearly and plainly not true, as being "truthy" enough that that believe it.

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Olychick

Trump’s story about _______ was a lie. Fill in the blank with anything he says.

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