NewYorkTimes, June 17, 2017
President Trump has done business with royals from Saudi Arabia for at least 20 years, since he sold the Plaza Hotel to a partnership formed by a Saudi prince. Mr. Trump has earned millions of dollars from the United Arab Emirates for putting his name on a golf course, with a second soon to open.
He has never entered the booming market in neighboring Qatar, however, despite years of trying.
Now a feud has broken out among these three American allies, and Mr. Trump has thrown his weight firmly behind the two countries where he has business ties, raising new concerns about the appearance of a conflict between his public role and his financial incentives.
Mr. Trump has said he is backing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates because Qatar is “a funder of terror at a very high level.”
Mr. Trump is the first president in 40 years to retain his personal business interests after entering the White House. Other senior officials in the executive branch are required to divest their assets. Critics say his singular decision to hold on to his global business empire inevitably casts a doubt on his motives, especially when his public actions dovetail with his business interests.
“Other countries in the Middle East see what is happening and may think, ‘We should be opening golf courses’ or ‘We should be buying rooms at the Trump International,’” said Brian Egan, a State Department legal adviser under the Obama administration. “For a president to be making money from business holdings in sensitive places around the world is likely to have an impact.”
Stepping away from management without giving up ownership does not diminish Mr. Trump’s financial incentives or conflicts, as the director of the Office of Government Ethics warned before Mr. Trump’s inauguration.
The feud in the Persian Gulf flared up on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Arab allies all broke off trade, travel and diplomatic relations with Qatar as punishment for what they said was its support of terrorism. Scholars of the region and American diplomats, however, said the dispute appeared to have more to do with jostling over power and autonomy.
Mr. Trump, on the other hand, endorsed the blockade as soon as it started. He had returned days earlier from a summit meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with the leaders of all the gulf states, and he declared on Twitter that his visit was “already paying off.”
Mr. Trump’s dealings with the Saudis extend back to at least 1995, when he sold the Plaza Hotel to a partnership formed by a Saudi prince and an investor from Singapore. The deal, for $325 million, enabled Mr. Trump to escape a default on his loans. (The same prince had reportedly bought Mr. Trump’s yacht for $18 million four years earlier.)
The Saudis “buy apartments from me,” he said in August 2015 at a rally in Mobile, Ala. “They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”
In May, the rulers of the kingdom agreed to invest $20 billion in a fund to invest in American infrastructure, billed as part of an initiative Mr. Trump has championed. The $20 billion investment went to a fund set up by the money manager Blackstone, whose founder is close to Mr. Trump, his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner.
Mr. Trump made his first deal in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, in 2005, to build a hotel with a state-owned developer. He pulled out after the 2008 recession, but by 2010 Mr. Trump and two of his children, Ms. Trump and Donald Jr., were back in the region scouting for new business.
Now some in Qatar are asking if missing a chance to do business with the Trumps might have been a mistake, Could anyone have imagined that five or 10 years ago, when businessmen turned down a New York mogul and reality TV host auditioning for its investment that they were jeopardizing the security of their country?
Здешние политиканы, «эксперты», подконтрольные ЦРУ СМ»И» продолжают нахваливать псевдодемократическую Америку.
Те, кто любит «наших американских партнеров», «забывают» о грязных, злых уродах США. О таких монстрах, как коварный и крайне опасный мошенник, расист, лжец, и убийца Дональд Трамп. И о таких, как порочный, воинственный Конгресс, фашистские ФБР и ЦРУ, лживые американские СМ”И”…
Кричите вместе: «АМЕРИКА ВЫШЕ ВСЕХ! AMERICA FIRST! НАШ ТРАМП!, НАШ ТРАМП!…”
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США