“When in doubt — lie” seems to be the modus operandi most preferred by President Donald Trump. He’s faced intense scrutiny over his lackadaisical response to Saudi Arabia’s reported murder of a prominent dissident journalist, including a focus on his business connections to the country. There’s long been concern about those business connections weighing on the functioning of Trump’s administration.
The president, though, says there’s nothing to worry about — except fake news, of course.
‘For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!’
Trump has, however, had such financial interests. He was involved with the country all the way back in the early 1990s, when he sold a yacht to Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal to rake in some cash while he was struggling. Ten years later, he sold off an entire floor of Trump World Tower in New York to the Saudi Arabians, which was the largest purchase of space in that building to date. (That building is different from Trump Tower, also in New York City, where the president himself spent many years living.)
In the time since, Trump has continued to cultivate a business relationship with the Saudis, registering companies to do business there in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election that were ultimately dissolved.
He still has relevant financial ties, though, through means including large amounts of cash Saudi affiliated interests have poured into his hotels. Lobbyists working for the Saudis spent nearly $270,000 at his D.C. hotel last year, and earlier this year, the Saudis poured so much business into his NYC hotel that overall room rentals for the first three months of the year spiked 13 percent.
Although Trump no longer oversees his family business in an executive capacity, he does still have his financial stakes intact.
In other words, the situation isn’t as simple as he describes.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot