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China spent millions at Trump properties while he was president

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Saudi Arabia and China were among 20 foreign governments that spent at least $7.8mn in total at properties owned by Donald Trump while he was president, according to a report released by congressional Democrats on Thursday.

China’s government and state-owned entities were by far the heaviest spenders at the former president’s properties, the report said, paying $5.5mn at Trump-owned premises in New York, Washington and Las Vegas. Saudi Arabia and its royal family spent more than $600,000. 

The findings are the culmination of a years-long probe by House Democrats into whether Trump personally profited from his time in public office. The former president is currently the clear frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary race.

The 156-page report found that alongside China and Saudi Arabia, state-linked entities from Congo, Malaysia, Albania and Kosovo also spent money at Trump hotels and apartments. The investigation relies upon documents obtained from Mazars, Trump’s former accounting firm.

Qatar spent more than $460,000 and Kuwait more than $300,000, the report says.

Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the House oversight committee and a House manager during Trump’s second impeachment trial, said the figures were only a “fraction” of the actual spending by foreign entities at the former president’s properties, and covered just two of the four years of his presidency and a small number of his businesses.

“By elevating his personal financial interests and the policy priorities of corrupt foreign powers over the American public interest, former President Trump violated both the clear commands of the constitution and the careful precedent set and observed by every previous commander-in-chief,” wrote Raskin.

“It is true that $7.8mn is almost certainly only a fraction of Trump’s harvest of unlawful foreign state money, but this figure in itself is a scandal and a decisive spur to action,” Raskin added.

James Comer, the top Republican on the oversight committee and a leader in the Biden impeachment inquiry, said it was “beyond parody” that Democrats were investigating Trump.

The Bidens “and their associates” made millions more from shady countries without providing anything but access to Joe Biden, Comer claimed. “Former President Trump has legitimate businesses but the Bidens do not.”

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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