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ROUNDUP: President Trump’s Foreign Entanglements Exposed In New Report By House Oversight Democrats

Jan 4, 2024

Earlier today, a new bombshell report released by the Minority on the House Oversight Committee laid out concrete evidence of former President Donald Trump’s foreign entanglements. While serving in office, the former president reportedly received nearly $8 million from foreign entities – the vast majority of which come from authoritarian regimes, including China. Meanwhile, Oversight Chair James Comer has spent over a year desperately trying to pin the same allegations of foreign influence on President Biden without a single shred of evidence. 

This new 156-page report contains hard evidence against the former president, but House Republicans never really cared about accountability or oversight. In fact, the documents provided by Trump’s former accounting firm were made public only after House Republicans curbed an investigation into the former president’s conflicts of interest. It’s clear they spent 2023 investigating the wrong president. Now, as they tout so-called blockbuster witnesses in their bogus impeachment inquiry – an art gallery owner and a former lawyer for President Biden’s brother – it’s becoming even clearer that MAGA Republicans intend to spend 2024 playing the same partisan games.


New York Times: Trump Received Millions From Foreign Governments as President, Report Finds. The transactions, detailed in a 156-page report called ‘White House For Sale’ that was produced by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, offer concrete evidence that the former president engaged in the kind of conduct that House Republicans have labored, so far unsuccessfully, to prove that President Biden did as they work to build an impeachment case against him. Using documents produced through a court fight, the report describes how foreign governments and their controlled entities, including a top U.S. adversary, interacted with Trump businesses while he was president. They paid millions to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.; Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas; Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York; and Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza in New York. House Democrats highlighted the transactions on Thursday as a counterweight to Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into Mr. Biden, which has sought to tie him to international business deals by his son Hunter Biden before his father became president in a bid to prove corruption or influence peddling. They have so far failed to show that President Biden was enriched in any way by any of those transactions. ‘By elevating his personal financial interests and the policy priorities of corrupt foreign powers over the American public interest, former President Trump violated both the clear commands of the Constitution and the careful precedent set and observed by every previous commander in chief,’ Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, wrote in a foreword to the report.” [New York Times, 1/4/24]

Raw Story: James Comer Searched For China Link To Biden — But Oversight Found Trump Instead: Reporter. “The House Oversight and Reform Committee, under Rep. James Comer’s (R-KY) leadership, has searched through the finances of President Joe Biden and the rest of his family looking for incriminating links to foreign entities. Now it turns out it was Donald Trump who had international business dealings while sitting in the White House, according to a report released by Democrats on the committee. […] ‘And what this report outlines, with a great deal of specificity, are the types of payments that many of these foreign governments were making to his various businesses. The number one country over this two-year period that had participated in or had patronized Trump-associated businesses was China, which of course Donald Trump has been a fierce critic of, particularly as it relates to Hunter Biden, the current president’s son.’ Trump claimed during the 2020 campaign that Biden scored $1.5 billion from China. Trump conflated the accusations by saying that Biden ‘goes on and he allows China to rip us off.’ He also said, ‘So the Bidens got rich while America got robbed.’ The Republicans in the Oversight Committee have been unable to find such a payment. The amount that they’ve alleged Biden took from foreign entities through his son has shrunk to about $4,000, which Biden loaned his son so he could buy a 2018 truck. Hunter Biden paid his father back in monthly installments.” [Raw Story, 1/4/24]

Bloomberg (Opinion): Trump Took $7.8 Million in Foreign Cash While in Office. He’d Do It Again. “Donald Trump and his businesses hauled in at least $7.8 million from foreign governments and officials of 20 countries during his presidency. The bulk of that came from China, but Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others also chipped in relatively modest amounts, according to a new report from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee. […] Greed and financial conflicts of interest will certainly haunt the White House if Trump returns for a second term. He’ll also undoubtedly feel empowered to freely line his pockets if he winds up an escapee from two impeachments, several criminal and civil cases and a previous election loss. The quickest path to Trump’s heart has always involved plopping a bag of cash on his desk, and battle-hardened realists overseas who are seeking geopolitical, military or economic advantages over the US are well aware of that.” [Bloomberg (Opinion), 1/4/24]

HuffPost: Trump’s Businesses Got $7.8 Million In Foreign Payments During His Presidency: Report. “Donald Trump’s businesses received nearly $8 million in payments from foreign governments while Trump was president, according to new research by Democrats on Capitol Hill. Unlike Republicans in their effort to pin corruption on President Joe Biden, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee have receipts — more than 400 pages of them — showing payments to Trump’s businesses from foreign officials likely seeking to influence the U.S. government. Trump refused to divest from his business empire when he became president, creating an opportunity for anyone hoping to win his favor to put money straight into his pocket by staying at his hotels.” [HuffPost, 1/4/24]

The Messenger: Trump Raked in Millions From Foreign Entities as President, Democrats Charge. “The report focuses on payments the foreign sources made to Trump Tower and Trump World Tower in New York and the Trump International Hotels in Washington and Las Vegas. Financial documents released by the committee show that the Chinese government and Chinese entities spent over $5.5 million at three of the locations, while Saudi Arabia spent over $600,000 and Qatar doled out nearly $500,000. ‘Through entities he owned and controlled, President Trump accepted, at a minimum, millions of dollars in foreign emoluments in violation of the United States Constitution,’ the 155-page Democratic report claims. ‘The documents obtained from former President Trump’s accounting firm demonstrate that four Trump-owned properties together collected, at the least, millions of dollars in payments from foreign governments and officials that violated the Constitution’s prohibition on emoluments ‘of any kind whatever’ from foreign governments.’” [The Messenger, 1/4/24]

Rolling Stone: Trump Raked in Millions From China During Presidency: Report. “’We know about only some of the payments that passed into former President Trump’s hands during just two years of his presidency, from just 20 of the more than 190 nations in the world, through just four of his more than 500 businesses,’ Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the committee, wrote in his introduction to the ‘White House for Sale’ report released Thursday. Under the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, elected office-holders — including presidents — are barred from accepting gifts, payments, and other emoluments from foreign governments and dignitaries without the consent of Congress, as they could be used to influence policy and governance. As president, Trump refused to divest from his business empire, instead handing control of the conglomerate to his sons Eric and Donald Jr. The report released Thursday alleges that Trump violated the prohibitions against receiving emoluments when his businesses accepted payments from foreign governments to his properties in New York, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. The findings of the report read as if they were the evidence Republicans have been desperately seeking in their own quest to impeach President Joe Biden on unproven charges of corrupt foreign business dealings.” [Rolling Stone, 1/4/24]

Mother Jones: Stay to Play: Inside the Sordid History of Trump’s DC Hotel. “This lesson probably isn’t taught in business school, but it turns out that being elected leader of the free world can buttress even the iffiest business plans. At least for a while… The Trump Organization had initially projected that its new hotel would lose $2.1 million in the first four months of 2017, per confidential documents the GSA accidentally posted online. Instead, the company turned a $1.97 million profit… Representatives of at least 31 foreign governments have popped up at the hotel, as have numerous foreign candidates for office and political operatives. To prove he was permitted to enter the United States after being implicated in the 2009 bribery conviction of then-Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), Atiku Abubakar, the main opposition candidate in Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election, stayed at the hotel where he live-streamed a town hall. ‘You said I cannot step my foot on American soil. Here I am, not only in America, but in the hotel belonging to the president, Donald Trump,’ Abubakar reportedly said later. Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo later gave Voice of America an interview from a comfy couch in one of the hotel’s signature suites. The business has also hosted parties for various embassies, including those of Bahrain, Kuwait, and the Philippines.” [Mother Jones, 1/4/24]

NBC News: Trump Received At Least $7.8 Million In Payments From Foreign Governments As President, House Democrats Say. “Former President Donald Trump received at least $7.8 million in payments from foreign governments during two of his four years in the White House, according to a report released Thursday by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee. At least 20 foreign governments made the payments to Trump’s businesses during the two-year period that the committee was able to review. The information in the report was first reported by The New York Times and CNN.” [NBC News, 1/4/24]

Salon: “White House For Sale”: Report Reveals Trump Made Over $6m From China And Saudi Arabia In Office. The overseas transactions, outlined in a 156-page report called ‘White House For Sale’ produced by House Oversight Committee Democrats, provide hard evidence of the former president’s engagement in the kind of conduct House Republicans accuse President Joe Biden of as they attempt to build an impeachment case against him despite their probe of his alleged dealings failing to yield any evidence. The report details how foreign governments and their controlled entities, including a top U.S. adversary, patronized Trump’s businesses while he was in office. They shelled out millions to the now-defunct Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.; the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas; Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City; and Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza in New York.” [Salon, 1/4/24]

Axios: Report: Trump Received At Least $7.8M In Foreign Payments During Presidency. “Why it matters: It’s the most solid figure to date on the scope and scale of Trump’s private windfall from foreign sources, which Democrats allege is a clear-cut violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. Driving the news: The 156-page report entitled ‘White House for Sale: How Princes, Prime Ministers, and Premiers Paid Off President Trump’ draws on documents from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, obtained after years of high-profile court battles. […] The big picture: The $7.8 million figure, the report says, is based on a ‘small slice’ of the Mazars documents and is ‘likely only a small fraction of the total amount of such payments he received during his presidency.’ Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) released Mazars from its obligation to turn over the documents after taking power in January. The four properties comprise just 1% of the businesses Trump owned when he was president, the report says. ‘The Committee did not receive from Mazars any documents regarding at least 80% of Donald Trump’s business entities,’ the report says. ‘For many other entities, Mazars produced only a single document.’ But, it adds, ‘this figure in itself is a scandal and a decisive spur to action.’” [Axios, 1/4/24]

CNN: China Spent Over $5.5 Million At Trump Properties While He Was In Office, Documents Show. The Chinese government and its state-controlled entities spent over $5.5 million at properties owned by Donald Trump while he was in office, the largest total of payments made by any single foreign country known to date, according to financial documents cited in a report from House Democrats released Thursday. Those payments collectively included millions of dollars from China’s Embassy in the United States, a state-owned Chinese bank accused by the US Justice Department of helping North Korea evade sanctions and a state-owned Chinese air transit company. Accounting records from Trump’s former accounting firm, Mazars USA, were obtained by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.” [CNN, 1/4/24]

The Guardian: Trump Businesses Received Millions In Foreign Payments While He Was In Office, Report Finds. “Trump, a businessman before his election, broke with US precedent and did not divest from his businesses or put them into a blind trust when he took office, instead leaving his adult sons to manage them. Shortly after Trump was elected to the presidency in 2016, Congress began investigating conflicts of interest and Trump’s potential violations of the emoluments clause of the US constitution, which bars the acceptance of presents from foreign states by a person holding federal elected office without congressional consent. The investigation led to a lengthy court dispute, which ended in a settlement in 2022, at which point Trump’s accounting firm began producing the requested documents. When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives early last year, the committee stopped requiring Trump’s accounting firm to produce documents and a US district court ended the litigation. The report discussed four properties, less than 1% of the 558 corporate entities Trump owned either directly or indirectly as president. Trump’s accounting firm did not provide documents regarding at least 80% of Trump’s business entities, congressional investigators said.” [The Guardian, 1/4/24]

The Washington Post: Report: Trump Businesses Received $7.8 Million In Foreign Payments During Presidency. “The report, which argues that no president besides Trump has ‘ever come so close to brazenly ignoring the Foreign Emoluments Clause,’ recommends that Congress consider adopting measures to prevent such violations in the future. […] While Comer stymied the congressional probe into Trump, he has aggressively pursued an investigation into what he alleges was Biden’s involvement with his son’s foreign business dealings. Republicans so far have not released any direct evidence that Biden benefited from his son’s financial involvement in Ukraine or elsewhere. But the investigation has become the basis of an impeachment inquiry against Biden, which GOP lawmakers formally authorized last month.” [The Washington Post, 1/4/24]

The Hill: Trump Businesses Took In Nearly $8 Million From Foreign Governments: House Democrats. “The volume of foreign payments during Trump’s presidency is detailed in one of the most exhaustive reviews of Trump’s business dealings with foreign governments while in office. […] ‘Critically, even this subset of documents reveals a stunning web of millions of dollars in payments made by foreign governments and their agents directly to Trump-owned businesses, while President Trump was in the White House,’ Democrats wrote in their report. ‘By pocketing foreign states’ payments, President Trump repeatedly placed his personal financial interest and the interests of foreign wealth and power above the public interest, resulting in precisely the split loyalty between foreign power and the American people that the Framers sought to avoid.’ Concerned the billionaire hotelier’s businesses would be a magnet for foreign spending, ethics experts have long sounded the alarm that Trump’s properties would be a route for violating the emoluments clause of the constitution, which prohibits the president and other government officials from receiving profit or gain because of their role.” [The Hill, 1/4/24]


Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09): “Wow, a new blockbuster report today finds Donald Trump received $8,000,000 from foreign governments while President — nearly all of it from China. The head of the republican party used his office to stuff his pockets and wants to do it again.” [X, @BillPascrell, 1/4/24]

Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-24): “🚨BREAKING: House Democrats in @OversightDems  release report showing President Trump’s businesses received millions from foreign governments while he was President. Instead of lobbing phony charges against President Biden, MAGA Republicans might want to look in the mirror first.” [X, @RepWilson, 1/4/24]

Ryan Nobles, MSNBC: “It’s important to keep in mind that while Donald Trump was president, he did not do what other previous presidents have done and either divested his assets outside of government or step down from the boards and step down from positions of authority in these businesses. Instead, he chose to remain involved in them…he was still directly involved or had knowledge of the day-to-day business activity that many of these different associated entities were doing while he was in office.” [MSNBC Reports, 1/4/24, VIDEO]

Arthur Delaney, The Huffington Post: “It’s like the Republican investigation of Joe Biden, except the claim is backed by 450 pages of actual receipts rather than dubious inferences from a handful of bank transfers.” [X, @ArthurDelaneyHP, 1/4/24]

Kyle Griffin, MSNBC: “The Constitution prohibits a president from accepting money, payments or gifts ‘of any kind whatever’ from foreign governments and monarchs unless he obtains ‘the consent of the Congress’ to do so. The report notes Trump never went to Congress to seek consent.” [X, @kylegriffin1, 1/4/24]

Matthew Gertz, Media Matters for America: “The new report showing that China paid Trump’s businesses more than $5 million while he was president makes some right-wing claims about Hunter Biden seem comically detached from reality.” [X, @MattGertz, 1/4/24]

Michelangelo Signorile, SiriusXM: “Oh, China? Is James Comer going to investigate? Sounds like bribery to me. Report: Trump businesses received $7.8 million in foreign payments during presidency” [X, @MSignorile, 1/4/24]

Kathryn Watson, CBS News: “Despite Trump’s frequent criticism of China and insistence that the country has been taking advantage of the U.S., it was China that spent the most at Trump-owned businesses, according to Oversight Dems’ report. China spent nearly $5.6 million. That’s followed by Saudi Arabia.” [X, @kathrynw5, 1/4/24]