Architect Andrew Tesoro on Being Conned by Donald Trump-Truth! & Misleading!
Summary of eRumor:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has released a video in which New York architect Andrew Tesoro explains that Donald Trump’s organization didn’t pay his firm for thousands of dollars of design work on the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, New York.
Andrew Tesoro’s claim that his architectural firm wasn’t paid in full by the Trump Organization appears to be true — but a few important details were left out of Hillary Clinton’s campaign video.
Specifically, Andrew Tesoro said the project grew in scope during the design process and his final invoice included about $80,000 in additional costs for architectural services. While those costs were for changes that were approved by Trump, Tesoro said that he expected to have to renegotiate his final invoice with the Trump Organization.
Andrew Tesoro firm was contracted to design the clubhouse at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, New York. In the video, Tesoro said, “Here he is in the very ballroom where I got bullied out of many thousands of dollars, making promises that are just like the promises that he made to me and didn’t keep.”
Trump and his campaign have declined to comment on the allegations. But the Trump National Golf Club project does appear on Tesoro Architects’ website in the “case studies” section, along with a glowing review of the clubhouse from Trump himself:
We designed the Westchester “manor” with a sense of luxury, relaxation, and sport. Large expanses of glass embrace the drama of the landscape and provide views to the golf course beyond. This is a golfer’s building, bustling from spring through autumn. Activities and gatherings, however, occur throughout the year. The Trump National Golf Club is designed for events held simultaneously in the dining and lounge areas while golfers can enjoy their club in small groups.
An elegant palette of marble, millwork, and fixtures captures the essence of the Trump brand while incorporating design cues from historic Hudson Valley architecture. The clubhouse is clad with stone quarried on-site from the excavation process; timber construction of the 40-foot high centerpiece Grille Room utilizes traditional joinery with a contemporary flourish.
“…Mr. Tesoro is a fine architect with imagination and spirit. [The Clubhouse] fits perfectly on its glorious hilltop site…rooms are beautifully proportioned, light-filled spaces…Andrew Tesoro is a dedicated, enthusiastic, talented, and solid professional… a top-notch architect.” – Donald J. Trump
In an interview with Forbes, Andrew Tesoro said that the project had grown in scope throughout the design process. At the end, he was entitled to about $140,000 in outstanding payments, which included about $80,000 in additional architectural services that had been “directed, approved and implemented with Trump’s blessing,” when he was called to the clubhouse for negotiations with the Trump Organization. When he got there, Tesoro explained:
I was startled at the bullying. These guys ganged up on me and basically said, there were cost overruns. They said, we’ll give you $50,000. Their message to me was take it or leave it. I was stunned. I left and made a bill for $50,000 and sent it. It wasn’t paid.
When he didn’t receive a check for the $50,000 invoice, Tesoro said, he contracted Trump directly:
I met with Mr. Trump. He said, you’re a nice guy, you’re a good architect, I’ll give you half of that $50,000. I walked away with $25,000.
Given that his firm was so small, Tesoro said it wouldn’t be worth suing the Trump Organization for the remaining balance on the invoice. Tesoro accepted the $25,000 and opened lines of credit to keep his firm afloat in the meantime, he said.
Still, Tesoro told Forbes that he liked Donald Trump on a personal level and believed that Trump was not “nearly as much of a demon as he often sounds like on the campaign trail.”
So, based on Tesoro’s account, his architectural firm was underpaid by the Trump Organization for its design work on the clubhouse at Trump National Clubhouse in New York. However, Tesoro said that he expected to renegotiate the final invoice with the Trump Organization.
That’s why we’re calling this one truth and misleading.