President Donald Trump reportedly used a White House meeting with the prime minister of Georgia last year to talk about a long-stalled real estate project in the former Soviet satellite state.
Two former Trump business partners tell Forbes that Trump brought up plans to build a Trump Tower in Georgia during his meeting with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili last May.
As president, Trump has vowed to not be involved in making deals that benefit his businesses and has instead given responsibility for running his businesses to his sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.
According to The New Yorker, Trump first unveiled plans to build a Trump Tower in the Georgian city of Batumi in 2011.
What’s more, the New Yorker writes that the proposed deal to fund the tower’s construction raised concerns about whether the project would be used as a vehicle to launder money.
“The deal, for which Trump was reportedly paid a million dollars, involved unorthodox financial practices that several experts described to me as ‘red flags’ for bank fraud and money laundering,” the publication writes. “Moreover, it intertwined his company with a Kazakh oligarch who has direct links to Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin.”
A groundbreaking ceremony for the tower was held back in 2012, however the project has completely stalled since then and workers haven’t even dug any foundation for the proposed tower.