Trump organization not tracking all profits from foreign government entities
- Author: Leroy Wright May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 22:20
For properties the Trump Organization owns, the plan calls for estimating profit from revenue attributable to foreign governments at the same rate as gross operating profit for the business generally. For hotels where the Trump Organization derives fees based on revenue or other operating performance measures, it will determine what fraction of its management fee is derived from foreign governments by estimating how much of the hotel's revenue is derived from such business. Critics say payments from foreign governments to Trump's companies violate the Constitution.
In January, Trump pledged to track and donate all profits at his companies from foreign government travel and commerce.
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"It is not the intention nor design of this policy for our Properties to attempt to identify individual travelers who have not specifically identified themselves as being a representative of a foreign government entity on foreign government business", the policy says.
Those entities "may not be reasonably identifiable as foreign government entities, and therefore may not be included in our calculation of profit to be donated", the pamphlet read.
The Trump Organization policy notably excludes payments from foreign government-owned corporations or other entities often used by foreign governments.
Trump said at the time he would not give up ownership of his hotels. This is also part of the general Trump business plan.
The Kuwaiti and Azerbaijani governments have already hosted events at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. In March, the Government Accountability Office said it would check whether Trump has made any payments to the U.S. Treasury from profits at his hotels.
He added, "If President Trump believes that identifying all of the prohibited foreign emoluments he is now receiving would be too challenging or would harm his business ventures, his options are to divest his ownership or submit a proposal to Congress to ask for our consent".
"Instead, you provided only a single document - a glossy, eight-page pamphlet that contains a total of 40 sentences - and an email forwarding this pamphlet to various Trump Organization entities", according to Cummings" letter.
Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which obtained the pamphlet, said in a response to the Trump Organization that its method for identifying foreign government payments to Trump businesses was deficient.