President Donald Trump apparently has no problem with immigrants, as long as they are his paying customers.
During a June meeting concerning foreign policy with China, the president reportedly told aides he was aware of a Chinese criminal he wanted out of the country.
In a letter from the Chinese government delivered to Trump by casino magnate Steve Wynn, officials explained that billionaire real estate developer Guo Wengui had fled China after being charged with rape, bribery, and kidnapping.
Allegedly telling his aides “[w]e need to get this criminal out of the country,” Trump quickly changed his tune once his aides reminded him that Wengui is a Mar-a-Lago resort member — in other words, he is a paying customer of Trump's. Trump and his team worked steadfast to make sure the deportation wouldn’t occur after the president learned about the man’s status as a customer.
The billionaire fugitive, who claims that all allegations against him are false, has also accused the Chinese government of corruption without producing evidence.
In a visit to Wengui’s New York apartment in May, officials from China’s ministry of state security allegedly threatened the fugitive, telling him to stop using Twitter to accuse the government of wrongdoing and to go back to China. After the incident, FBI agents had been lined up at the airport to arrest the Chinese officials but were told to stand down as the U.S. State Department believed the arrest could prompt a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
While the incident shows just how opportunistic and attached to his business the president truly is, it isn’t against the law for him to refuse to hand over fugitives to China as the two countries do not have an extradition treaty. But, perhaps, what’s worse is that this incident goes to show that the president really does not have an issue with immigrants who are also criminals, unless of course, they are his customers.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas