Donald Trump said he turned down a $2 billion business deal with a Dubai businessman and property developer, during the president-elect’s Wednesday press release, the first in nearly six months. Trump said he wanted to avoid a conflict of interest.
‘Over the weekend, I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai with a very, very amazing man, a great developer from the Middle East. I turned it down. I didn’t have to turn it down.’
Dubai property company confirms it offered Trump Organization $2 billion in deals https://t.co/tZ9qsFr6rr
— TIME (@TIME) January 11, 2017
Although the near-president said he was avoiding conflict of interest, this is only one such deal in the octopus arms of Trump’s massive business interests, arms that circle the globe:
‘I have no conflict of interest situation because I’m president. But I don’t want to take advantage of something.’
Trump said that his two sons would manage his holdings, and if they don’t do a good job, he said:
Chairman of Damac Properties Dubai Co. Hussain Sajwani already has two golf resort development deals with Trump in Dubai, which paid him as much as $10 million in 2015 and the beginning of 2016, as reported in Trump’s May financial disclosure, according to Yahoo News:
Spokesperson for Damac Niall McLoughlin told Yahoo News:
‘Damac confirms that discussions took place but, as stated, they were declined. These were proposals for different property deals.’
Trump first announced the deal with Damac in 2014. The deal included 100 luxury villas in the midst of a Trump-branded golf course. Tiger Woods is designing yet another Trump golf course with Damac.
During the press conference, Trump said his first step is to resign his business positions and put his holdings into a trust. Ethics attorneys criticized this as insufficient.
At Trump’s New Year’s party, he could be seen hanging out with his good buddy and Dubai business partner Hussain Sajwani.
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, Jordan Libowitz, the spokesman for non-profit legal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said:
‘Even if this was truly a social meeting and not a business one, there’s a cloud of doubt that hangs over it and will last for the next four years unless he sells the business outside of the family and places the assets in a true blind trust.’
The nonprofit ethics group continued:
‘When he makes foreign policy decisions that affect Dubai, will they be in the interest of the American people or in the interest of his business partnership? Is he catching up with an old friend or ironing out a secret deal? We have no way of knowing.’
Trump has been condemning the media for bringing up his conflicts of interest as a way of diverting people’s attention away from the “real issues”:
‘The media tries so hard to make my move to the White House, as it pertains to my business, so complex — when actually it isn’t!’
A guest at Trump’s New Year’s bash captured this video below with Donald Trump praising his Dubai business partner, and gave it to CNN:
— CNN (@CNN) January 2, 2017
Featured Image: Getty Images/Stephen Lovekin.