How China pays Trump millions
Dan Alexander and Matt Drange
The Chinese government is paying Donald Trump $2 million a year, said Dan Alexander and Matt Drange. In “a conflict of interest unprecedented in American history,” Trump’s family business is leasing the 20th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan to China’s state-run bank. That would appear to be an obvious violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from receiving payments from foreign governments. Our investigation reveals that Trump receives $175 million a year in rent from commercial tenants of his properties—and the president refuses to disclose who those tenants are. Many of them, we discovered, are businesses that can be affected by federal government decisions. One is Walgreens Boots Alliance, which pays Trump $3.2 million a year in rent—and just got his administration’s approval to buy rival Rite Aid stores, after the Obama administration blocked a merger on antitrust grounds. Bank of America, Barclays, and numerous other banks that benefit from the administration’s major deregulation efforts also pay Trump millions in rent. How can Americans trust that Trump’s personal interests don’t influence his policies? He refused to divest himself from his businesses, so we are simply left to wonder.