(Quote by Bloomberg)
“Whoever Owns Trump’s Enormous Debts Could be Running the Country.”
The NYTimes bombshell article is just the start – “It’s about the mystery of who owns Trump’s outlandish debts, and the degree of secret power they may be wielding over the country.” Even without the tax information, security experts have been sounding the alarm about Trump’s vulnerability since the beginning of his presidency. Alexander Vindman, the Army officer whose whistleblower complaint of a “perfect” conversation led to Trump’s impeachment, considers our president already compromised. “President Trump should be considered to be a useful idiot and a fellow traveler, which makes him an unwitting agent of Putin.”
Minimal script to Representatives: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to demand an immediate investigation into the security risk posed by Trump’s debts. He has already proven himself willing to be bought.
- Rep. Julia Brownley: email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- https://whoismyrepresentative.com (put in your zip code)
A sampling of his corruption…
Along with other sources noted, the Center for American Progress has a whole series of articles specifically detailing our most corrupt president’s conflicts of interests here. Here’s a starter course.
- Qatar: (slate) Trump is getting money directly from the government of Qatar, through a rental agreement for a dummy office in a building partly owned by him in San Francisco. His administration had originally sided with Saudi Arabia and the UAE against Qatar, whom they accused of terrorism. Qatar fought back with a lobbying campaign that consisted of paying Trump’s friends and funneling cash to the president through this lease. Needless to say, Trump no longer believes that Qatar supports terrorism.
- Phillippines: $3 million “licensing” deal while in office.
- Tip of the iceberg. Trump had investments there before his election, including branding of a tower in Manilla, and experts believe that his condoning of the brutal crimes of “international human rights pariah” Rodrigo Duterte, are the direct result of his financial ties.
- Dutarte chose the businessman who made the tower deal with Trump to act as his special trade envoy.
- India: $2.3 million “licensing” deal while in office.
- Trump has large branding deals in this country from before the election as well. Shortly after the election, he met with the businessmen developing his branded towers, who had flown to New York to congratulate him on his victory. In an interview with the Indian paper The Economic Times, in an account he later confirmed with The New York Times, one of them said that during the meeting, which also included three of Trump’s children, the discussion centered on the possibility of expanding the Trump business in India.
- Trump has more business projects in India than in any other country and has been paid as much as $8 million in royalties from his India projects over the previous two years (2015-2017), and he and his children will presumably continue to receive money from these arrangements. “In short, Trump and his family continue to have a breathtaking array of conflicts in India, and the president’s financial well-being is now very much linked to the fortunes of often extreme and corrupt politicians in India.“
- Turkey: $1 million “licensing” deal since he became president. A lot more more money passed into his pockets before then, which has all paid off handsomely for President Erdogan.
- The start of the grift: Trump had a branding deal for a twin-tower building there since 2008. During the 2016 campaign, Erdogan threatened to remove Trump’s name from the towers, but dropped the subject after Trump praised his response to the July 2016 coup attempt against him.
- First demands: Immediately after the election, the Turkish Prime Minister issued a combination congratulation/demand letter, asking Trump to extradite Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim spiritual leader and bitter rival of President Erdoğan, who is currently in exile in Pennsylvania. Gülen is accused of orchestrating the coup attempt.
- Special exemption: Turkey was also excluded from from Trump’s executive order suspending entry to the United States for citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
- It’s just business: Businesses linked to the Turkish government are major patrons of the Trump Organization. Turkish officials have made 14 visits to Trump properties, more than any other country. “When Turkish-American relations were at a low point, a Turkish business group canceled a conference at Mr. Trump’s Washington hotel; six months later, when the two countries were on better terms, the rescheduled event was attended by Turkish government officials. Turkish Airlines also chose the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Virginia to host an event.“
- Deals with friends: May 2020: Ali Yalcindag, chairman of a trade group representing Turkish business interests wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging support for increased trade between the United States and Turkey. The ultimate goal was nothing less than “reorienting the U.S. supply chain away from China.” Yalcindag helped negotiate the 2008 licensing deal for the twin-towers.
- Protection: When Republican senators sought to punish Turkey in the summer of 2019 for its purchase of a Russian missile defense system by pushing the president to impose congressionally mandated sanctions, Trump invited them to a White House meeting to ask for “flexibility” in dealing with the issue. Those sanctions have not been implemented.
- Betrayal of the Kurds: Trump suddenly decided to pull U.S. troops out of Northern Syria in Oct of 2019, after a phone call from Erdogan, who immediately started killing Kurdish minorities who had been our allies. “It’s absolutely staggering” that Trump made a decision that “has put us on the brink of causing genocide in Syria,” said Wendy Sherman, an undersecretary at the State Department during the Obama administration.
- Flynn: Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was Trump’s first national security adviser, neglected to disclose that he had been working for Turkey. Not only was he neckdeep in the influence efforts to extradite Gülen, he may have delayed a key strategic military operation, involving U.S. troops in an active war zone in Syria to prevent upsetting the same Turkish government that was helping to funnel money to him.
- (Vanity Fair) The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which is majority-owned by the Chinese government, has an office in Trump Tower. His two eldest sons, Eric and Don Jr., who took over day-to-day management of the president’s business when their father ascended to the presidency, were in a position to negotiate with the Chinese over how much money they would pay President Trump—while President Trump simultaneously negotiated with China as part of his massive trade war.
- Law firm Jones Day assisted Huawei, the Chinese technology company that Trump labeled a national security risk, with issues before the White House, while also paying the president an estimated $1.5 million a year.
- Because of lax disclosure laws, it took 3 years before it was discovered that Trump tower tenant, Venable LLP, was lobbying for Putin’s interests on behalf of Russian state-controlled bank Sberbank, against bills designed to expose corruption around the Kremlin and to combat Russian interference in elections.
- At one point in the late 2000’s only one bank would lend to Trump. It is an interesting coincidence that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s son was managing the real estate division at Deutsche that lent to Trump, and that Justice Kennedy unexpectedly retired to ensure Trump could seat his replacement. Deutsche Bank has been fined and sanctioned over multiple money laundering scandals, including $20 billion from Russian kleptocrats.
- US companies: The door is always open for JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who pays the president an estimated $2.5 million a year for office space. Remember that quote ““We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank because, frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that have nice businesses that can’t borrow money. They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.”
- US companies who’ve been convicted of crimes: “Before Trump took office, three of his tenants, JPMorgan, UBS, and Barclays, pleaded guilty to manipulating interest and foreign exchange rates. The Trump administration issued waiver extensions to all three banks, as well as Trump’s lender, Deutsche Bank, allowing them to avoid part of their punishments.”