Donald Trump’s sprawling web of business ties around the world would make him the most conflicted president in American history, with virtually no foreign policy decision untainted by Trump Organization interests, according to a bombshell Newsweek cover story published online Wednesday.
As investigative reporter Kurt Eichenwald details in the story, which is based on confidential interviews with executives, foreign politics, global financiers, and even criminals, the GOP nominee personally tried to woo Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, did business with the son of an Azerbaijan official who is accused of laundering money for the Iranian military, and holds the trademark for possible Trump branded projects in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
One of Trump’s most troubling business entanglements is in Turkey, a critical U.S. ally in the fight against ISIL in the Middle East. After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presided over a 2012 ribbon-cutting dedication of a Trump property in Istanbul, relations between him and the real estate mogul have frayed, with the president speaking out against Trump’s derogatory remarks about Muslims. The politically influential Dogan family, whose Dogan Group was Trump’s Turkish business partner on the project, is embroiled in criminal allegations, with its owner facing charges that he engaged in a fuel-smuggling scheme.
The Trump family rakes in untold millions of dollars from the Trump Organization every year. Much of that comes from deals with international financiers and developers, many of whom have been tied to controversial and even illegal activities. None of Trump’s overseas contractual business relationships examined by Newsweek were revealed in his campaign’s financial filings with the Federal Election Commission, nor was the amount paid to him by his foreign partners.
It would also be a monumental task for Trump to untangle these conflicts of interest, according to the report:
Trump’s business conflicts with America’s national security interests cannot be resolved so long as he or any member of his family maintains a financial interest in the Trump Organization during a Trump administration, or even if they leave open the possibility of returning to the company later. The Trump Organization cannot be placed into a blind trust, an arrangement used by many politicians to prevent them from knowing their financial interests; the Trump family is already aware of who their overseas partners are and could easily learn about any new ones.
It’s worth reading the whole report over at Newsweek.