Donald Trump, a republican presidential candidate, said

"It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars"

A lot of people are making fun of him for saying that line. And I don't understand why and I don't know what it actually means. Is that something you can say?


He is trying to coyly say that the loan of a million dollars was a modest loan from his father. Like if a father gave their son a small loan of, say, a thousand dollars to help buy a car.

But to 99% of the American public, a million dollar loan is by no means "small". In fact, the vast majority would never be able to get such a loan. That is why he is being ridiculed. He wants to play the loan off as being something small and modest that anyone could get. It was no big deal. But the public sees it as an example of his being born into a wealthy privileged family, and that wealth and privilege gave him a significant head start to get to where he was today.

  • Aha, but the phrase "a small loan of a million dollars" means a million-dollar loan? I never thought it would mean that. I thought it was a null sentence. Nov 13 '15 at 6:33
  • Yes, his father was fairly wealthy. He actually got a $1,000,000 loan from his dad. He used that to buy some property, and then more, and more. Nov 13 '15 at 6:47
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    Furthermore, it is scoffed at because Trump likes to play the conservative mantra that if you work hard, anybody can succeed in the U.S. But then he downplays that he came from a fairly privileged up-bringing. Nov 13 '15 at 6:49
  • I don't think "fairly" is accurate -- he was very privileged. Most people in this country will never have even half a million dollars of cash at any time in their lives. Saying that he has not had it easy when his father was wealthy enough to loan him more money than practically anyone in the country could put their hands on at one time indicates he has no idea what "not having it easy" is actually like.
    – rcook
    May 8 '16 at 2:09

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