President-elect Donald Trump assured Americans that there were no new foreign deals, but it seems that wasn’t entirely accurate.
According to The Guardian, Trump’s Scottish golf resort is beginning a multimillion-dollar expansion project. The construction will enlarge the hotel and develop a second 18-hole golf course.
This seems to be in conflict with the assurances Americans were given that Trump would not be using his position as president to do deals for his own interest.
“Through instructions in the trust agreement, President-elect trust — President-elect Trump first ordered that all pending deals be terminated,” said Trump’s attorney Sheri Dillon at a press conference last week. “This impacted more than 30 deals, many of which were set to close by the end of 2016. As you can well imagine, that caused an immediate financial loss of millions of dollars, not just for President-elect Trump, but also for Don, Ivanka and Eric.”
But according to a Trump organization spokesperson, Trump’s agreement only extends to “new” properties. New deals at old properties don’t fall under their definition of “pending deals.”
“Implementing future phasing of existing properties does not constitute a new transaction so we intend to proceed,” the spokesperson told The Guardian.
“He’s using language which is ambiguous. It clearly illustrates that around the world, he will just simply expand around the various holdings and as they continue to expand, the conflicts of interest expand,” said George W. Bush’s former ethics advisor, Richard Painter.
Trump opened the golf course during the 2016 campaign, taking a break from the trail to fly overseas and holding a press conference at the opening. The Guardian reported in October that Trump has lost nearly $31.8 million, according to FEC filings.
The numbers from October reveal that the resort may never be capable of turning a profit, but the Trump family claimed it would profit in the short to medium term. Despite being open for less than a year, the expansion has already begun.
The 2011 documentary “You’ve Been Trumped” outlined the impact Trump’s resort had on the town that surrounded it.
“He promises the world. It never happens. Never trust Trump,” 92-year-old Molly Forbes explained. Thanks to Trump’s resort, clean drinking water has been destroyed.
“I pity America if he’s president,” she said.