Trump Organization Seeking Aid From U.K., Ireland For Golf Resorts
In yet another mind-blowing business situation for an American president, Donald Trump’s company is seeking handouts from foreign governments for three struggling golf resorts.
The Trump Organization is after aid from the British and Irish governments to cover most of the wages of employees who have been furloughed because of COVID-19 lockdowns, Bloomberg reports.
Ironically, the 2,000 Trump employees laid off in his own country won’t get the same government help.
The situation raises huge ethical concerns for a president. The Trump Organization stands to gain from foreign governments at the same time Trump negotiates with them on international issues as head of the U.S. The dual role as businessman and president highlights concerns about whose interests he is serving. Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman called it a “flagrant violation” of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits American officials from accepting money from a foreign government or its representatives to avoid conflicts of interest.
Some across the pond are furious they’re being asked to bail out a man who frequently boasts he’s a billionaire and a crack businessman.
“The huge tab for this will be borne throughout the whole population through higher taxes,” said Martin Ford, an elected official in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where one of Trump’s resorts is located. “If what he says about his personal wealth is true, Trump doesn’t need the money, and I don’t see why U.K. taxpayers of the future should be helping him out,” he told Bloomberg.
The president’s son Eric Trump said in a statement to USA Today that the money the company is seeking “does not benefit” the Trump Organization — it is “solely about protecting people and their families who would otherwise be out of work.” Presumably, however, many employees can continue to work on the Trump properties maintaining the greens and buildings at little cost to the president’s company.
The Trump family was initially said to be prohibited from cashing in on the U.S. stimulus packages passed by Congress — though Trump’s Virginia winery and four hotels may still be eligible for the funds, according to a report by ProPublica.
The Trump Organization is seeking an annual rent cut of $3 million from the U.S. General Services Administration for the government-owned former post office that’s the site of the president’s Washington, D.C., hotel. In another unique business situation for a president, Trump, the businessman renter of the site, also serves as the landlord because he’s the president of the United States.
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