Following Donald Trump folding on holding next year's G7 summit at his Doral golf resort, that has the president whining, Politico reports that the president spends a great deal of his time talking about his real estate deals and properties when he speaks with foreign leaders -- which is setting off alarms with some of his close aides.
According to the report, "Trump constantly brags about his properties around the globe when he speaks with foreign leaders in person or by phone, even more than the public instances witnessed out in the open, according to three people familiar with Trump’s conversations with foreign officials. The remarks are permeating every membrane of his presidency so much that they’ve left aides and allies mastering verbal jiu-jitsu to defend his unprecedented approach to fusing personal business interests with his position in high office."
The report notes that those conversations -- like his Ukraine phone call where he mixed government business with seeking personal gain in the form of dirt on a political opponent -- could lead to more charges of self-dealing as the president faces impeachment.
“He talks up his properties every chance he gets with anyone — with staff, with members of Congress, with the press, with the public, with foreign leaders, with anyone,” explained a former White House official. “That’s what he has done. He’s been a salesman. He’s been a PR person for his properties for the last 50 years, so almost out of force of habit, that’s what he does.”
As the report notes, those phone calls could face additional scrutiny by Democrats looking at the Trump running his company while president -- and using his office for leverage.
"As president, Trump has met with leaders of at least 10 countries where he has a property or is developing one: Turkey, the Philippines, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Canada, Ireland, Panama, Dominican Republic and the United Arab Emirates, according to his schedules," the report states. "He also met with leaders of three countries — China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea — where state-owned companies are developing new Trump resorts. Some of the governments are spending their own money on roads and other infrastructure for Trump’s projects."
While the White House refused to comment on the Politico report, one insider attempted to explain away the president's continual promotion of his properties.
"He’s just trying to relate,” the former aide during the presidential transition offered. “He’s looking for issues of commonality, just trying to personally connect with someone.”
You can read more here.