Donald Trump has recently been linked to a variety of shady individuals, including mob bosses and people accused multiple times of money laundering. According to the AP, six months before he entered the presidential race, Donald Trump began a new real estate project with a partner whose father had been described as “notoriously corrupt.”
As Trump’s campaign has continued, it seems that he is now trying to distance himself from the project, as all references to the project in Baku, Azerbaijan has been removed from Trump’s website, even though, just a few weeks ago, Trump’s daughter Ivanka released a publicity video of the nearly finished project.
Trump and his campaign’s vetting skills and process have been called into question on more than one occasion, and it’s understandable that people are concerned about his judgment, especially with him currently sitting as the presumptive Republican nominee. After all, were he to win the election, he would be in charge of appointing over 3,600 people to a variety of positions.
When asked in 2013 why he had not thoroughly researched a business partner whom he later referred to as “a dud,” Trump revealed that he relied primarily on word-of-mouth to help him make his decisions.
‘We heard good things about him from a couple of different people. That’s true with the president of the United States. You get references and sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not so good.’
Returning to the questionable situation in Baku, Trump’s partner was Anar Mammadov, who is the son of the country’s transportation minister. While Trump’s lawyer, Alan Garten, said that they were confident Mammadov’s father had no role in the project, choosing Mammadov at all is questionable since, as the AP says, “[he] is widely viewed by diplomats and nongovernmental organizations as a transparent stand-in for the business interests of his father.”
Richard Kauzlarich, who was a U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan under then-President Bill Clinton in the 1990s and worked under the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration, said of Mammadov and the business relationship, “These are not business people acting on their own — you’re dealing with daddy.” He continued, “Whatever the Trump people thought they were doing, that wasn’t reality.”
Though the Baku hotel project has not been completed yet, Trump has already earned a significant amount of money from it. From a hotel that has never opened, he has already earned between $2.5 million and $2.8 million in hotel management fees. Additionally, Trump licensing details general involve receiving a significant minority stake in the property.
Another example of Trump’s poor judgment that has been in the news recently is the hiring of questionable professors for “Trump University,” a now-defunct education program for which he is currently facing three lawsuits. Although he claimed to have handpicked every single professor for the program, that claim turned out to be false. Speaking of unqualified professors, Trump’s excuse was:
‘In every business, people slip through the cracks. No matter how well-run a business, people come in and they’re not good, and you wonder, you know, how did they get there, et cetera.’
Featured image via Getty.