Donald Trump and the businesses he runs overseas have been the subject of scrutiny since the election, and even before, as the office of President of the United States offers a unique position of power. This could undeniably influence the way Trump’s business is conducted outside of the country.
Trump himself has come under suspicion for his refusal to address these concerns or to put his business in a blind trust, instead claiming he will allow his children to control his affairs for him. Now that he’s been elected as our next president, Donald Trump has already gotten a head start on calling in favors from foreign leaders.
Journalist Jorge Lanata reported that when Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri called to congratulate Trump on his win, Trump requested that the president do something about his attempts to build a tower in downtown Buenos Aires, a project that has been held up by market regulations and import barriers.
This attempt by Trump is an obvious abuse of power and a conflict of interest, however, it’s certainly not the only one. Trump has over 100 companies that have done business in 18 countries. He has deals and properties in Scotland, Uruguay, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. He has loans through the Bank of China and the large German bank, Deutsche Bank. Perhaps most alarmingly, Trump has established eight companies in Saudi Arabia for the purpose of building a luxury hotel. This is particularly concerning given Trump’s pledges to protect and be an ally to Saudi Arabia.
In light of all these concerns regarding his business, Trump himself has yet to put any fears to rest. Instead, he is allowing his surrogates and administration appointees to speak for him.
Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus dismissed the concerns during an interview with CNN and NBC news. Priebus stated that his advisers are still coming up with a legal solution that “obviously will comply with all those laws and we will have our White House counsel review all of these things.”
He then seemingly contradicted that statement by adding that “Donald Trump makes the decisions in this operation,” leaving the rest of us to wonder how Trump will handle conflicts of interests if he himself is making the decision on whether or not it’s a conflict at all.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images