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Letter to the Editor: Trump’s conflicts of interest
Letter To The Editor

From Diana Vance


To the editor:

President Trump has by his own account “a little conflict of interest.” It involves a pair of towers in Istanbul. Here’s what Trump said: “I have a little conflict of interest cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul,” Trump told Steve Bannon during a December 2015 interview on Breitbart’s radio show.

He continued, saying, “It’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers — two towers, instead of one, not the usual one, it’s two.” However, Trump does not actually own these towers. Rather, he licenses his brand to the building’s owner, Turkish tycoon Aydin Dogan, an ally to President Erdogan.

This arrangement may actually leave our president more vulnerable to extortion from the Turkish regime than if he owned the towers outright. According to Trump’s financial disclosures, he has collected between $3.2 million and $17 million in royalties from the licensing deal since 2012.

This means that Trump could ostensibly lose millions of dollars, should Dogan end their partnership. So Trump does not want to incur Dogan’s wrath because this deal is not hypothetical. In June 2016 after Trump supported a ban on immigration by Islamic people from what he called “terrorist countries,” Erdogan objected and so did Dogan. Both threatened to remove Trump’s name from the buildings.

Less than a month after the threat to remove his name was made, Trump publicly voiced support for Erdogan when he faced a coup attempt. The closeness of the two has continued. He praised Erdogan as “a very good friend” in 2017.

Now we saw Trump endorse a Turkish military operation that would sweep away the Kurds leaving them defenseless against an invading army because Trump stood defiant of the will of the Pentagon, State Department and Congress. 

Remember what Trump told Steve Bannon in the December 2015 interview on Breitbart’s radio show. I believe Trump sold the Kurds out for money because he was afraid Dogan and Erdogan would remove Trump’s name from the building if he did not give Erdogan the green light to attack. Yes, there was just a little conflict of interest that resulted in Erdogan receiving an invitation to meet Putin in Moscow. Our president not only threw the Kurds under the bus, he did the same to the United States. Meanwhile, our soldiers must remove 50 tactical nuclear weapons from Syria. It only gets worse.