Money Trail: Tracking Trump’s Foreign Money Deals
Foreign Money Deals
In investigating Donald Trump and his suspicious ties to foreign governments, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California said it best: “Follow the money trail.”
Those words couldn’t be more relevant now that a new expose has revealed that Donald Trump is seemingly using the presidency as a cash cow to rake in hundreds of thousands of foreign dollars laundered through his Trump Hotels, golf resorts, and other properties.
Earlier this year, the Trump International Hotel took in approximately $270,000 in payments from Saudi Arabia, which was billed as “catering” and “parking expenses” on behalf of the Saudis, Bahrain, and other foreign governments. This is only one example of foreign entities racking up fairly significant “favor” points with Trump while regularly putting money directly into the pockets of the man who sits in the Oval Office.
Consider this: if a foreign government wants to bribe Donald Trump into doing something that benefits them, they don’t have to dispatch a courier to Washington with a suitcase full of cash. All they have to do is reserve a block of suites at one of his hotels, or book a week of golf at one of his resorts. Yes, on paper, Trump turned over management of his companies to his adult sons, however, he continues to reap the financial benefits from his business interests.
Now, the attorneys general for the District of Columbia and Maryland have filed a lawsuit, claiming that Trump’s continued ownership of his real-estate and branding empire while serving in the White House has led to a blatant money trail. According to the lawsuit, Trump is “flagrantly violating” the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bars foreign payments to US officials without congressional approval.
Such a lawsuit is unprecedented and is the first of its kind from another government entity.
The filing from DC Attorney General Karl A. Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh says that Trump’s continued ownership of his business empire “calls into question the rule of law and the integrity of the country’s political system.” In fact, Frosh believes that the conflicts are so vast, Americans cannot say with certainty whether Trump’s actions on a given day are taken in the best interest of the country or that of his companies.
“Constituents must know that a president who orders our sons and daughters into harm’s way is not acting out of concern for his own business,” Frosh said. “They must know that we will not enter into a treaty with another nation because our president owns a golf course there.”
Prior to his inauguration, Trump vowed to keep strict records regarding foreign government officials paying to stay at his hotels or using any of his for-profit ventures. He also vowed to donate foreign profits from his hotels to the U.S. Treasury. However, when the House Oversight Committee recently requested to view those records, the Trump’s scoffed at complying.
“To fully and completely identify all patronage at our properties by customer type is impractical in the service industry and putting forth a policy that requires all guests to identify themselves would impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand,” a Trump Organization letter said.
In response, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the oversight committee, said the reply “raises grave concerns about the President’s refusal to comply with the Constitution.”
“Complying with the United States Constitution is not an optional exercise, but a requirement for serving as our nation’s President,” Cummings wrote. “If President Trump believes that identifying all of the prohibited foreign emoluments he is currently receiving would be too challenging or would harm his business ventures, his options are to divest his ownership or submit a proposal to Congress to ask for our consent.”
News of Trump’s funny money trail comes amid another damning report, claiming that money earmarked for Eric Trump’s annual charity golf tournament was instead channeled into the Trump Organization.
According to Forbes Magazine associate editor Dan Alexander, the Trump’s shifted money from a children’s cancer charity directly into the family business. They then paid company bills with the charity money.
How is it possible for someone to sit in the Oval Office and make decisions on behalf of the democracy, yet host foreign officials at their profit-making ventures around the world and still remain completely impartial in their decision-making process?
Follow the money trail!