A popular Facebook post claims that some wealthy Republicans and other public figures benefited from the federal government’s $ 2 trillion coronavirus aid package.
The post, published on July 7th by a site called Feminist News, features a collage of photos depicting eight public figures. It is alleged that companies ranging from Kanye West’s clothing company Yeezy to “Devin Nunes’ Winery” have received loans through the paycheck protection program.
“All of these millionaires got millions (or nearly) in PPP loans, while tens of millions of Americans got a bullsh * t check for $ 1,200 months ago,” the collage reads. “This is how a mafia state works. The small inner circle is rewarded. Everyone else suffers.”
The post was featured on its news feed as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat hoaxes and misinformation. (Read more about our Partnership with Facebook.) It has been shared more than 50,000 times and other popular liberal sites have released similar posts.
(Screenshot from Facebook)
The paycheck protection program is up a federal credit initiative Encourage companies to keep workers on their payroll during the coronavirus pandemic. The credits are forgivablewhich means some recipients may be able to keep the money. It passed as part of a larger legislative package in late March and was expanded by President Donald Trump on July 4th.
Two days later, the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department did published a record with details of the millions of loans that have been given to businesses and nonprofits to date. We used this data to take a closer look at the Facebook post.
The post is correct in saying that some companies affiliated with prominent Republicans have received money under the program. But in some cases the contribution oversimplifies their connection with these companies, and the data does not show that each person has personally received “Millions (or close to)”.
Who has what
Some of the Republicans mentioned in the Facebook post benefited directly from PPP loans. Others own stakes in companies benefiting from PPP or have more indirect relationships.
The credit database published by the SBA and the Treasury Department does not specify exactly how much money each company received. Instead, it offers a wide range.
We looked at the database, as well as news reports, to see how each person mentioned in the Facebook post is connected to PPP beneficiaries. (Search for yourself in the database here.)
What the post says: “Kanye West’s Company, Yeezy”
Who got the money: Yeezy LLC
before an interview from July 8th in which he said he no longer supports the president, West was one of Trump’s biggest celebrity supporters. According to the PPP loan database, Yeezy received between $ 2 million and $ 5 million.
What the post says: “Jared Kushner’s Family”
Who got the money: Several companies wholly or partially owned by the Kushners
Observer Holdings LLC, the parent company of Observer Media, which Kushner previously ran and is currently owned by his brother-in-law’s investment firm, received between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million.
A company called Princeton Forrestal LLC – reportedly 40% owned by Kushner relatives a securities registration for 2018 Analyzed by the Daily Beast – Received between $ 1 million and $ 2 million.
Esplanade Livingston LLC, a Kushners affiliate, received between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million.
The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, NJ received between $ 1 million and $ 2 million. It was named after Kushner’s grandfather and is supported by the family.
Hollwich Kushner Architecture, a company led by Marc Kushner, Jared Kushner’s first cousin, received between $ 150,000 and $ 350,000.
What the posts: “Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao”
Who got the money: The Foremost Group LLC
Chao is US Secretary of Transportation. A shipping company run by her family benefited from the PPP. Foremost Group received between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million, according to its credit database. Contrary to the Facebook post, Chao himself has not received a loan.
The leading group is not listed to mess 2017 financial report, but their relationship with the company was the subject a House of Representatives ethics investigation. The Facebook post states that she is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
What the post says: “The Company of Trump’s Campaign Manager”
Who got the money: CloudCommerce Inc.
CloudCommerce, a digital marketing company its largest shareholder is Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager who received between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million, according to the PPP CBS news and the credit database.
Between 2017 and 2018, CloudCommerce acquired several companies from Parscale and became a member of the company’s board of directors. On December 10, 2019, Parscale stepped down from the board, but retained its 34.9% stake in CloudCommerce, so a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
At that time, Parscale was not filing a “director, officer, employee or contractor” of the company. The current chairman and CEO of CloudCommerce is Andrew Van Noy.
Van Noy told CBS that Parscale “is no longer involved in decision making for the company, including the PPP loan”. Neither Parscale Properties LLC, an investment company who founded Parscale with his family, Parscale Strategy LLC, a company founded by Parscale and has been billed Millions to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, has received money from the program.
What the post says: “Trump’s Super PAC”
Who got the money: Companies that donated to a pro-Trump super PAC
A pro-Trump super PAC did not receive any money from the PPP.
Vital Pharmaceuticals, the company that Bang Energy is part of, has been loaned between $ 5 million and $ 10 million. 2019 Vital Pharmaceuticals gave $ 250,000 to America First Action, a pro-Trump super-PAC who, according to OpenSecrets.org, spent $ 36 million during the 2018 campaign cycle. Another company that has donated to the super-PAC, GH Palmer Associates, received between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million, according to a credit database CNBC.
Companies associated with other major Trump donors were among the early recipients of PPP loans. reported the Associated Press.
What the post says: Betsy DeVos
Who got the money: Renaissance Acquisition Co. LLC
The education secretary herself didn’t get a loan, but the Facebook post put it that way. Bloomberg reported that a company with the same name as on their 2017 financial report Did. Renaissance Acquisition Co., which operates an Indianapolis-based company that provides services to nonprofits, received between $ 2 million and $ 5 million, according to its credit database.
In its financial disclosure, DeVos said it earned $ 216,600 in dividends from Renaissance Acquisition, which means it is a part owner or partner of the company.
What the post says: “Devin Nunes’ Winery”
Who got the money: Phase 2 Cellars LLC and Alpha Omega Winery LLC
Rep. Nunes, R-Calif., Is not the sole owner of Phase 2 Cellars, a vineyard in San Luis Obispo that has received between $ 1 million and $ 2 million from the PPP. But he’s a part owner and has between $ 50,001 and $ 100,000 in equity. corresponding a Daily Beast analysis of Nunes’ latest financial disclosure. Alpha Omega Winery, another California winery that Nunes has a stake in, received a loan of the same magnitude.
What the post says: “Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas”
Who got the money: JRW Corp.
JRW Corp., a car dealership in Fort Worth, Texas where Williams serves as the sole director and president, has been loaned between $ 1 million and $ 2 million. His own stake in the company exceeds $ 50 million, according to Williams’ latest financial disclosure.
We asked Feminist News for a comment, but we didn’t hear anything.
A Facebook post said eight wealthy public figures received loans under the state paycheck protection program.
The post correctly describes how West, Kushner, and Williams are related to companies that have received money. However, it oversimplifies how Chao, Parscale, DeVos, and Nunes benefited from the program.
The federal government lent millions of dollars to companies affiliated with, but not wholly owned, Parscale, Nunes, and DeVos. A shipping company owned by the Chaos Family received between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million, but did not receive a loan, and the company is not listed on its financial information.
The Facebook post is partially correct, but leaves out important details or takes things out of context. We rate it as half true.