Sen. Menendez asks State Department if the president’s son has received any special treatment.
On the second day of his India visit, Donald Trump Jr., the caretaker of the US president’s businesses, defended his father over accusations that the family is using the White House to expand its business empire worldwide.
Speaking at a private event in Calcutta, Trump Jr. said that his family has put business interests secondary ever since his father became the president and will continue to do so for the next 5 to 7 years.
Trump Jr., who is in India to launch projects that his father had initiated before becoming the president, said in the next 5 to 7 years the Trump Organization will not push any new projects, even though this means losing big money.
He also said that his father had to shelf a dozen projects in India as he took the new job seriously and considered it more important than any other engagements.
Since his arrival in India, Trump Jr. has pointed out repeatedly that his father has sacrificed his business after becoming the president.
In an interview with CNBC-TV18 on Tuesday, Trump Jr said the critics who accuse his father of “profiteering from the presidency and all this nonsense” forget about “the opportunity cost of the deals that we were not able to do.”
“It’s sort of a shame,” he said. “Because we put on all these impositions on ourselves and essentially got no credit for actually doing that … for doing the right thing.”
Trump Jr., along with his younger brother Eric Trump, manages the Trump Organization.
During the India trip, Trump Jr. is visiting four cities, nteracting with promoters and buyers of Trump-branded homes. On Friday, he is scheduled to speak at a business summit about Indo-Pacific relations, which will be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Trump Jr.’s visit has already raised many eyebrows, with Sen. Robert Menendez, who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asking the State Department and the US Embassy in India for a report on whether the president’s son was given treatment that goes beyond what any other US citizen on a private business gets. He has asked the US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster in a letter whether US diplomats had briefed Trump Jr. or whether he was provided with any staffing support.
Menendez also asked Juster whether any steps were taken “to make clear to the Indian government and citizens of the country that Mr. Trump in no way speaks on behalf of the United States government.”