PATERSON, N.J. – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement on how President-elect Trump’s potential conflicts of interest have compromised American interests abroad. Recent reports from Newsweek about the next president of the United States describes how he can be vulnerable to undue influence by foreign governments, including through bribery and even blackmail.
"With another phone call President-elect Trump may have put people at risk and American foreign policy into question," said Rep. Pascrell.
"The Newsweek story today on Mr. Trump's conflicts is beyond troubling. By discussing private business while talking with foreign leaders, like the Turkish president, he is acting with extreme recklessness at worst or simple carelessness at best. Maybe he would have a better footing for handling these calls if he attended more intelligence briefings."
"Alexander Hamilton could never imagine how prescient he was over two centuries ago when he warned of 'desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils' in Federalist No. 68," said Rep. Pascrell.
"President-elect Trump must completely separate his personal financial interests from his official capacity as the president, especially after recent reports that a foreign power may already be abusing this connection to twist the arm of the United States. Since he refuses to release his tax returns, which would provide a complete picture of his income and debts, or divorce himself from the Trump Organization, we have no idea if the president-elect is acting in the best interests of America or his bottom line, which is why he must take action to prove that he is putting American interests first."
Newsweek’s report details how the actions of President-elect Trump and the financial interests of the Trump Organization abroad may run counter to U.S. foreign policy goals in the Philippians, China, and Turkey. The complete report can be found here: http://www.newsweek.com/2016/12/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-jeopardize-us-531140.html