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News Foreign Policy Wednesday, Sep 7 2016

Trump's Shady Foreign Business Ties Create "Unprecedented" Conflict Of Interest

Sep 07, 2016

“I’m campaigning, I’m running a business, I’m doing a lot of things” — here’s what you need to know about Trump’s sketchy business dealings and conflicts of interest:

“[Trump’s control of over 500 companies] is certainly going to present an unprecedented ethical dilemma if Trump wins,” a leading ethics lawyer told CNNMoney back in March.

And when you look at Trump’s extensive history of sketchy businesses and attempts to drive business with unsavory characters from around the world, those concerns are doubled.

Given Trump’s consistent willingness to put his business interests first — especially when someone else is on the hook (particularly his campaign donors) — there are very real concerns about conflicts of interests that might arise should he make it to the White House.

What would Trump put first: America’s best interests or his own personal wealth and business ties to foreign governments?

Trump was paid “at least $5.7 million” by the Saudi government

  • Since 2011, Saudi Arabia’s government has paid Trump “at least $5.7 million,” according to a recent New York Daily News investigation.
  • Another potential Saudi conflict of interest arises from the fact that Trump has formed at least 8 companies in Saudi Arabia in the past 15 months — four of which “were dissolved within months,” according to BuzzFeed News.

Trump’s shady business ties to the Iranian military

  • In 2015, Trump announced a development project in Azerbaijan, partnering up with Anar Mammadov, whose father is an Azerbaijani government minister “suspected by U.S. diplomats of laundering money for Iran’s military and described as ‘notoriously corrupt,’” according to The Associated Press.
  • After the AP started asking questions, “all references to the Baku project…disappeared from Trump’s website.”

Trump tried to “gain access to” Libyan dictator Muamar Gaddafi

  • In 2009, Trump rented at his New York estate to Gaddafi; an arrangement that Trumphas bragged yielded “a lot of money.”
  • But the sketchiness doesn’t end there: BuzzFeed News reports that Trump “sought to use the opportunity to gain access to [Gaddafi], who was in a position to release billions in investment capital.”

Published: Sep 7, 2016

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