Trump Organization Terminates Three Overseas Deals In Brazil, Azerbaijan

Silvia Izquierdo

The Trump Organization said Thursday that it has terminated three overseas licensing deals: two in Rio de Janeiro and one in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The company's general counsel, Alan Garten, told CNN that the deals were "terminated under the applicable agreements," which he described as "housecleaning."

The Trump Organization terminated its licensing deal for a hotel bearing the President-elect's name in Baku, Azerbaijan, and also terminated business licensing deals for a hotel project and an office complex of five buildings in Rio de Janeiro, according to CNN.

Details of the Trump-branded luxury hotel in Azerbaijan vanished from the then-candidate's website in December 2015, as Mother Jones reported at the time, and a sales agent said that the project had been delayed and had no opening date. Trump's partner in the shuttered project, Anar Mammadov, is the son of an Azerbaijan official who is accused of laundering money for the Iranian military.

In October, Brazilian federal prosecutor Alselmo Lopes opened an investigation into Trump Towers Rio, a five-building office project under development as part of a revitalization effort before the 2016 Olympic Games. Lopes alleged in a court filing translated by Politico that state agencies "favored, in a suspicious manner, the economic group The Trump Organization." The charges in Lopes' filing did not implicate anybody related to the Trump Organization.

The same Brazilian prosecutor opened a criminal investigation in November into investments made by two state pension funds into a luxury hotel that was part of the Trump Hotels franchise. On Tuesday, Trump Hotels announced that it was pulling its name from the hotel and would no longer be responsible for its operation. According to a transition team readout, Trump spoke with Brazilian President Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia the next day.

Aides to Temer said that Trump did not bring up his business interests on the phone call, according to Buzzfeed News.

News of the canceled deals came on same day Trump originally had designated for a press conference—which he later canceled—where he was expected to address the conflicts of interest presented by his global business dealings.

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