A group of over fifty former intelligence officials and national security experts have written a letter demanding that he disclose the details of his “overseas business investments.” Signed by both Republicans and Democrats, the call for transparency comes as Trump defiantly doubles down on his refusal to release his tax returns and reveal any potential conflicts of interest he might have as President.
“Donald Trump still has not revealed to the American public his international business relationships, even as it becomes increasingly clear that his overseas ties could well constitute significant conflicts of interest when it comes to charting U.S. foreign policy. This is unprecedented for a candidate for the nation’s highest office. As such, we are calling on Mr. Trump to disclose, in full, the nature of his business relationships overseas — to include specifically who his business partners are and what and where are his foreign investments.
The Newsweek article reports that Mr. Trump courted Muammar Qaddafi, a dictator who murdered his own people and who once pursued nuclear weapons and conducted terrorism against Americans. Newsweek also asserts that Mr. Trump’s other business partners have included Kremlin-tied oligarchs and Russians with mafia links, an individual accused of money laundering for the Iranian military, a Turkish media tycoon accused of running a fuel-smuggling ring, Indian companies that may have violated India’s laws in their pursuit of business with Mr. Trump, and a South Korean company mired in scandal. Importantly, according to this news item, Mr. Trump’s business partnerships owe millions of dollars to Chinese entities.
On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian leadership, while outlining policies that read like a Kremlin wish list. He has claimed that Putin would never invade Ukraine, suggested permanently ceding Crimea to Russia and placed conditions on upholding our obligation to protect our NATO allies. He has floated lifting sanctions against Russia, which would benefit both Putin and the Trump Organization. Our policies must be motivated exclusively by what is in America’s best interest, not by the financial interests of our president. The onus is on Donald Trump to assure voters that this will be the case by disclosing the nature of his overseas relationships and committing to divest such assets.”
The letter was penned by signatories as noted as former acting CIA director Michael J. Morell, former undersecretary of Defense Michael G. Vickers, and former national security adviser Samantha Vinograd. Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns would appear to indicate that there are some serious irregularities that could potentially doom his candidacy for President, which his son pretty much confirmed in a foolish statement. The content of those tax returns has been the subject of much speculation, but given Trump’s long history of tax evasion and political bribery, it doesn’t take much imagination to assume he’s committing some kind of fraud. He’s also suspected of accepting bribes from Russian oligarchs and has done business with authoritarian rulers like Libya’s now-deceased Muammar Qaddafi, the emirs of the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ruling House of Saud.
So what exactly are you hiding, Mr. Trump?
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.