WASHINGTON: Businesses tied to Republican former US president Donald Trump received at least $7.8 million in foreign payments from 20 countries during his four years in the White House, Democratic congressional investigators said on Thursday.

House of Representatives Oversight Committee Democrats said the payments detailed in the 156-page report are likely a fraction of the foreign payments made to Trump and his family during his 2017-2021 administration. “These countries spent often lavishly on apartments and hotel stays at Donald Trump’s properties personally enriching President Trump while he made foreign policy decisions connected to their policy agendas with far-reaching ramifications for the United States,” the report said.

The countries included China, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malaysia.

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.

Shortly after Trump was elected to the presidency in 2016, Congress began probing conflicts of interest and Trump’s potential violations of the emoluments clause of the constitution, which bars the acceptance of presents from foreign states by a person holding federal elected office without congressional consent.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2024

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