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Trump received millions from foreign governments as president, report finds

In World
January 04, 2024

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s businesses received at least US$7.8 million (S$10.3 million) from 20 foreign governments during his presidency, according to new documents released by House Democrats on Jan 4 that show how much he received from overseas transactions while he was in the White House, most of it from China.

The transactions, detailed in a report produced by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, offer concrete evidence that the former president engaged in the kind of conduct that House Republicans have laboured, so far unsuccessfully, to prove that President Joe Biden did.

Using documents produced through a court fight, the report describes how foreign governments and their controlled entities interacted with Trump businesses while he was president. They paid millions to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, and Trump Tower and Trump World Tower, both in New York.

House Democrats highlighted the transactions on Jan 4 as a counterweight to Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into Biden, which has sought to tie him to international business deals by his son Hunter Biden. They have so far failed to show that Joe Biden was enriched by any of those transactions.

”By elevating his personal financial interests and the policy priorities of corrupt foreign powers over the American public interest, former President Trump violated both the clear commands of the Constitution and the careful precedent set and observed by every previous commander in chief,” Representative Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, wrote in the report.

Among the countries patronising Trump’s properties, China made the largest total payment – US$5.5 million – to his business interests, the report found. Those payments included millions of dollars from China’s Embassy in the United States, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Hainan Airlines Holding Co.

Saudi Arabia was the second-largest spender, shelling out more than US$615,000 at Trump World Tower and Trump International Hotel.

Mr Eric Trump, the former president’s son, has long insisted that foreign interests did not influence his father’s presidency and that any profit the company earned on the hotel stays was returned to the federal government through a voluntary annual payment to the Treasury Department.

The Constitution prohibits a president from accepting money, payments or gifts “of any kind whatever” from foreign governments. NYTIMES

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