If there is one thing that will not suffer under Donald Trump’s presidency (unlike education, health and housing, among many others), it is the president-elect’s vast business empire. In fact, it might be the only thing to survive and flourish during the next four years.
Amplifying America’s concerns about their incoming commander-in-chief’s conflicts of interest, Think Progress published an in-depth report on how Trump Organization allegedly coerced a Middle Eastern embassy into holding an event at Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel.
Earlier this year, the Embassy of Kuwait signed a contract with the Four Seasons in Georgetown. However, just days after the presidential election, when the nation was still reeling in shock at Trump’s unexpected win, the embassy suddenly canceled the agreement.
A source told Think Progress that members of Trump Organization contacted the ambassador of Kuwait, Salem Al-Sabah, and pressured him to hold the National Day celebration at the Trump International Hotel instead.
First Secretary of the Embassy of Kuwait Abdulaziz Alqadfan could not “confirm or deny” it. Similarly, Mallory Harney, a sales and marketing official with the Trump hotel, also declined to comment.
While the bigoted billionaire’s foreign dealings have raised questions about the possibility of a conflict of interest during his administration, this particular deal could be considered as an effort on the Kuwait Embassy’s part to gain favor with the future U.S. leader — after all, if Trump’s neo-con cabinet is any indication, the president-elect always compensates loyalty.
However, by using his government position to reap benefits and extract transactions from foreign companies and businesses, Trump risks violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which could ultimately lead to his impeachment.
The Embassy of Kuwait is also not the first Middle Eastern embassy to switch its event to Trump’s hotel.
Recently, Politico reported that Bahrain celebrated its own national day at the Trump International Hotel. Reportedly, the Embassy of Azerbaijan is also planning to co-host Hanukkah at the same hotel — despite the anti-Semitic tones of Trump’s presidential campaign and his controversial cabinet picks.
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