Senate Democrats are asking President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE and the Trump Organization to disclose any ties to Saudi Arabia, as well as freeze any potential business relationships, in the wake of the disappearance of a U.S.-based journalist.
Eleven Democrats sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday saying public reporting and the president's own comments show decades of "maintained business relationships" with Saudi Arabia and the Saudi royal family.
"Your recent statements, and public reports of increased spending by the Saudi government at Trump properties, raise significant concerns about financial conflicts of interest," the Democratic senators wrote.
They add that any possible decision on imposing sanctions on the nation, and U.S. policy generally, should "not [be] influenced by any conflicts of interest that may exist because of you or your family's deep financial ties to Saudi Arabia."
Democrats also sent a letter outlining the same concerns to Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpRittenhouse to speak at Turning Point USA event White House calls Jan. 6 text revelations 'disappointing' Court orders release of some redacted passages of Mueller report MORE and Eric TrumpEric TrumpPress: Newt says lock 'em up – for doing their job! Are the legal walls closing in on Donald Trump? Jan. 6 probe roils Cheney race in Wyoming MORE, who took over management of the Trump Organization following their father's White House win.
Senators are asking Trump and the Trump Organization to provide documents to allow them to "better understand any potential conflicts of interest," including any paperwork tied to investments, payments or transfers from Saudi Arabia or the Saudi royal family to the Trump Organization during the past 10 years.
They also want to know if Trump or any Trump Organization officials have discussed potential investment or business deals involving Saudi Arabia since June 16, 2015, or if they've received gifts or anything else of value since the start of the administration.
The eleven Democratic senators who signed the letter include Tom UdallTom UdallCruz to get Nord Stream 2 vote as part of deal on Biden nominees Democrats threaten to play hardball over Cruz's blockade Rubio vows to slow-walk Biden's China, Spain ambassador nominees MORE (N.M.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyFiscal spending deadline nears while lawmakers face pressure to strike deal These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Senate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products MORE (Vt.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law Democrats ask for information on specialized Border Patrol teams MORE (Ill.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats press cryptomining companies on energy consumption Ocasio-Cortez: Supporting Sinema challenge by someone like Gallego would be easy decision Over 80 lawmakers urge Biden to release memo outlining his authority on student debt cancellation MORE (Mass.), Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats urge Biden to get beefed-up child tax credit into spending deal Despite Senate setbacks, the fight for voting rights is far from over Small ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed MORE (N.J.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal SALT change likely to be cut from bill, say Senate Democrats Democrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrative MORE (N.M.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyBiden comments add momentum to spending bill's climate measures Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Overnight Health Care — White House boosts mask availability MORE (Mass.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans We must learn from the Afghanistan experience — starting with the withdrawal MORE (Ill.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseMcConnell: I'm going to give Biden's Supreme Court nominee 'a fair look' Democrats press cryptomining companies on energy consumption Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill MORE (R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats press cryptomining companies on energy consumption Democrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (Ore.).
Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, who was a critic of Saudi leadership, was last seen Oct. 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get paperwork needed for his marriage.
Saudi Arabia has denied wrongdoing in his disappearance, initially saying Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after entering without providing evidence to support their claim.
Democrats are asking both Trump and the Trump Organization to halt any ongoing business relationships during the investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance, as well as commit to cutting financial ties if Saudi Arabia or senior officials are found to be responsible in his potential slaying.
The letters come after Trump pushed back on speculation that he has not punished Saudi Arabia due to financial conflicts of interest, calling it "FAKE NEWS."
"For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter)," he tweeted. "Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!"
Trump's business ties to Saudi Arabia are coming under increasing scrutiny as he's faced growing pressure to have a tough response to Khashoggi's disappearance and possible death.
Trump for years has had business ties to the Saudis, with one Saudi royal billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, purchasing his yacht and a stake in New York's Plaza Hotel in the 1990s when the former business mogul was in financial distress.
And, as senators noted in their letters on Wednesday, Trump talked about his business relationship with Saudi Arabia at a rally in 2015.
"Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me," he said at a campaign rally in 2015 in Alabama. "They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much."
CNN reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia was readying a report that would acknowledge Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong. One source told CNN that the report would likely find that the interrogation was carried out "without clearance."
Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. has requested audio and video from Turkey related to Khashoggi's disappearance.
"We have asked for it, if it exists," Trump said in the Oval Office, later conceding it "probably does."
Trump said he expected to get a "full report" from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he returns to the U.S. from meetings with Saudi and Turkish officials.