Politics and big business don’t mix. President-elect Donald Trump’s business dealings, a sprawling empire known as the Trump Organization that has spread a financial web around the globe, have been linked to a broad range of scandals.
In recent weeks, Trump’s business relationships with foreign nationals have come under scrutiny, and some feel Trump’s business connections threaten America’s national security. The real problem, however, is Trump’s lack of transparency. Trump is as secretive as a Russian oligarch about his financial empire, a fact underscored during the election when he failed to release his tax returns.
The Democratic Coalition recently uncovered two Trump companies registered in Cypress, an offshore tax haven long known as the Russian money laundering capital. As reported in the Panama Papers, the small island of Cyprus acted as major way station for Vladimir Putin’s cash flow web.
While owning an offshore company isn’t illegal, one of Trump’s companies opened in Cyprus in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, which is enough to make conspiracy theorists raise an eyebrow. At the same time, there’s no transparency.
Do Donald Trump’s business ties to foreign adversaries present a conflict of interest for America, or has Trump simply created “shell-companies” to hide large sums of money in an offshore tax haven? Neither scenario is good for America’s reputation.