The Washington Post published a startling list of Trump’s numerous foreign business ventures. Some with dubious partners. At his press conference a few days ago, Trump made the astonishing claim that a businessman in Dubai offered him a $2 billion deal and he decided to turn it down, even though the president can never have conflicts of interest. So we have a president-elect who believes he can do deals while he is in office, if he feels like it. He says he has no deals in Russia but we can’t know if that is true unless he releases his tax returns.


I have voted for Republicans and Democrats. I am not doctrinaire. I respect the Office of the Presidency but I do not respect the man who is about to occupy it. He does not respect the public enough to dis lose his financial holdings. We have no way to judge whether his decisions are based on the public interest or private financial gain. He disrespects us by transferring ownership of his business to his adult sons, as if that relieves him of his financial conflicts.


“Donald Trump will enter the White House with a network of un­or­tho­dox foreign contacts — some of them high-living risk-takers, some with past trouble with the law — who have done business with him in nations from Latin America to the Middle East to Asia.


“Several of Trump’s foreign business partners have been investigated for financial improprieties, and some of them were required to pay large fines or settlements. Others were relatively inexperienced local developers who had major economic problems with their risky, Trump-branded mega-projects. Trump has also worked with businessmen with close connections to authoritarian governments.
“Ethics lawyers have raised concerns about whether some of the Trump family’s overseas alliances could raise conflicts of interest for the incoming president or tie the White House to questionable characters.


“A businessman can deal with these types of businesspeople and hopefully be smart enough not to get sucked in or be taken advantage of,” said Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush and a vocal critic of Trump. “But when you move into public service as president of the United States, these are exactly the types of business entanglements you have to dispose of.”


“Washington Post correspondents in nine countries reviewed the records of many of those whom Trump and his family have worked with on foreign real estate, golf and hotel projects. Like Trump, some are outspoken and larger-than-life characters with a taste for glitz and Rolls-Royces. A couple of them have also jumped from business into politics — one has a plan to “make Mumbai great again” and another said he intends to run for president of Indonesia.


“Trump will be the first U.S. president who has built a fortune by turning himself into a global business brand, and his constellation of foreign contacts is unique. Many previous presidents had cultivated networks of diplomats, political leaders, military officers, intelligence officials and dissidents before entering the White House. But Trump’s overseas partners have been primarily businessmen looking to make a profit using his name.


Dubai: Hussain Sajwani
Indonesia: Hary Tanoesoedibjo
Canada: Tony Tiah
Dominican Republic: Ricardo Hazoury
India: Mangal Prabhat Lodha
Turkey: Mehmet Ali Yalcindag
Russia: Aras and Emin Agalarov
Panama: Roger Khafif
Brazil: Paulo Figueiredo Filho


“Trump on Wednesday announced a plan to shift his assets into a trust managed by his sons and a longtime employee and turn over operation of his business to them. The Trump Organization said it will also avoid any new foreign deals during his presidency. But Trump will still own the business, and concerns remain that policies he pursues in office could affect the value of his family’s holdings.”