In January 2017, when Donald trump entered the White house he will bring is unprecedented for a U.S. President many potential conflicts of interest arising from his business Empire. Trump takes a position, from Board member to President, 527 organizations, and receives revenues from more than 100 companies, because it owns shares in them, license them their brand gets or management fees, from its pre-election financial disclosure, filed in may 2016.
The Washington Post counted at least 111 companies trump that conduct business in 18 countries in all parts of the world. The President-elect owns hotels, Golf clubs and other projects or donate them in your name in exchange for royalty in countries from Azerbaijan to South Korea, writes Politico, despite the fact that the true scope of his business is unknown, as trump refuses to publish your tax return.
Saudi hotels and Chinese loans
Many of the international operations of the conglomerate the Trump Organization was known long before the election of a President trump, but some emerged during the election campaign. For example, was last year, the company in Saudi Arabia. In August 2015, trump has established eight structures with the names of THC Jeddah Hotel, Jeddah DT Technical Services, etc., which clearly indicates the geography of the project — the Saudi metropolis of Jeddah. The Washington Post suggests that companies registered under the hotel project (the trump is not commented on). August 21, 2015, there were four of these companies, and on the same day, trump told his supporters in Alabama: “We’re such good friends with Saudi Arabia. They buy apartments from me, spend $40 million, $50 million Why should I not love them? They really like me”.
The debts of the companies trump be at least $650 million, twice as many as can be seen from the election returns of his staff, and creditors are foreign banks, including Deutsche Bank and Bank of China, the investigation showed The New York Times (NYT) in August of this year. For example, for an office building in Manhattan, 30% owned by Trump, listed konstruktivnyi a loan of $950 million from four financial companies — Bank of China and subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank, UBS and Goldman Sachs.
The outlines of a potential conflict of interest looming is good for example with Deutsche Bank. According to the TV company ABC News, trump using their company Deutsche Bank needs more than $300 million (the money allocated, in particular, the purchase of a Golf course in Miami and hotel project in Washington). But against the German Bank’s continuing investigation of the justice Department, which can recover from the Bank up to $5 billion for violations in the sale to investors of risky mortgage bonds from 2005 to 2007. In addition, American authorities are investigating the assumption that Deutsche Bank helped customers to illegally withdraw money from Russia, said ABC. This week, a concerned group of Democrats in the U.S. Congress sent a letter to internal oversight bodies several Federal agencies, warning that trump may try to influence the course of negotiations with Deutsche Bank with the Ministry of justice on the settlement agreement, gave The Wall Street Journal.
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The administration of the tramp will be doing business with the States, many of which are associated with the business interests of the new US President and his family. In Turkey, the tramp gets a multimillion-dollar royalties for the fact that his name is a luxury building Trump Towers in Istanbul. In Manila the local magnate josé Antonio completes the Trump Tower skyscraper, and the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has already appointed its special representative for trade with the United States. Indian developers also acquired the rights to the Trump brand, and in Argentina, the 35-storey “trump tower” planned long ago, but the project still has not received the necessary permissions from the authorities.
Local newspaper La Nacion reported this month that when Trump after winning the election called with congratulations the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri, trump asked him to help with construction permits (representatives of trump denied it). “When trump will make decisions concerning countries where it has business, assets or liabilities, each of us will ask the same question: it takes these decisions to promote the public interest or private financial?” — says a former White house counsel for ethics Norman Eisen (quote via Politico).
Usually American presidents who have business interests, transfer their companies in a “blind trust” or even sell them. The law does not oblige them to do it, but there is an established tradition in the last 40 years “blind trusts” was used by Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, bill Clinton, both George Bush and Barack Obama. And MITT Romney is applying for the post of Secretary of state and participated in the 2012 election from the Republican party, promised to transfer the business in a “blind trust” if you become President (as Governor of Massachusetts in 2003-2007, Romney has already registered two “blind trust” — for himself and for his wife). In 1994 Romney, who participated in the elections to the Senate, criticized his opponent, who stated that it does not have control over their assets in “blind trust”. “Blind trust” is an old Ruse,” Romney said then, but after nine years it took.
To abandon the “tricks” in its classic form was decided President-elect Donald trump. To run his business are his three grown children — Donald, Ivanka and Eric Trump Organization announced. They are “very smart and skilled”, and because of the fact that they were less experienced, trump was not nominated for the election in 2012, said a company representative. Will help children trump “a team of highly qualified leaders.”
Nothing illegal in this, explained in the edition of Fortune former White house counsel for ethics, who worked in the administrations of Bush and Obama. The us Constitution does not raise the issue of conflict of interest against the President and Vice-President. Congress could declare Trump impeachment for abuse of power, but most likely it will be to avoid conflict between the branches of government. However, there is another option: the Constitution prohibits Federal officials to receive payments and gifts from foreign States without the consent of Congress, and this provision is interpreted very widely. For example, if Bank of China controlled by the Chinese government, simplify the conditions for repayment of the loan or if trump will negotiate for refinancing, it is theoretically possible to interpret it as a “gift”.
Children and colleagues
The trump children are engaged not only in his business. Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric joined the transitional authority of trump, entered her and son-in-law elected President Jared Kushner. According to sources The Wall Street Journal, Donald trump, Jr. in October led to the Paris talks on Syria with Pro-Russian diplomats, businessmen and politicians. CBS even reported that trump wants to admit their children to the state secret and his transition team has allegedly asked for the appropriate permission to the White house. However, her representative denied this information.
Trump was suspected and the conflict of interests due discuss business after the election — with foreign partners. Trump met in his office with three Indian entrepreneurs who are engaged in construction of apartment complex luxury in Mumbai, the official representative of the trump explained it with the desire of businessmen to personally congratulate trump on his election victory. One of them also had a meeting with Ivanka and Eric trump.
After that, the Indian edition of the Economic Times wrote with reference to one of the businesses that trump has expressed interest in expanding his company in India. Another businessman confirmed that this was discussed at the meeting. The situation provoked criticism of lawyers on ethics. Regardless of what was discussed at the meeting, it is a conflict of interest for trump, as it can be perceived as the use of the President’s status to advance business interests, said the former chief counsel for the Senate Committee on ethics Robert Walker.
Ivanka trump was present at the meeting, trump’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, of journalists covering the event were not allowed. According to the NYT, this fact was criticized by former employees of the state Department. Deputy assistant Secretary Moira Whelan said that this requires at least the permission of the public security organs. The presence of Ivanka trump at a meeting of this level is inappropriate, as it is among the leaders of the Trump Organization, said Danielle Brian of Project on government oversight (Project on Government Oversight). Ivanka trump will no longer attend such meetings, said the source close to the family favourites of the American President.
Trump Organization says that trump is not going to interfere in her business on a daily basis, and its structure in the end “will comply with all applicable rules and regulations”.
A conflict of interest in the team trump may be not only him and his children. Retired General Mile Flynn, who will become Advisor to trump on national security, as found out the publication Politico, runs a consulting company, which, in particular, has been lobbying Turkish interests. While Flynn was attending secret briefings, along with trump. The conflict of interest pointed out the democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings. The letter concerned claims he sent the elected Vice-President Mike Pence, who manages the transition process.