Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are asking President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ 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.

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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.Donald (Don) John TrumpConservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report BuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president Special counsel issues rare statement disputing explosive Cohen report MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpWatchdog group: Trump had over 1,400 conflicts of interest in first two years Trump 2020 campaign manager hits George Conway: 'Think how bad of a husband you have to be' T-Mobile executives stayed at Trump’s hotel while merger that needed administration’s approval was pending 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 UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSchumer wants answers from Trump on eminent domain at border Senate in last-minute talks to find deal to avert shutdown  House-passed stopgap measure in Senate limbo MORE (N.M.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyBuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president GOP insiders knock their depictions in new Dick Cheney biopic ‘Vice’ Barr: It would be a crime for president to pardon someone in exchange for their silence MORE (Vt.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinBlagojevich's wife 'speechless' that officer's sentence less than half of husband's Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback Democrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal MORE (Ill.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Kamala Harris picks Baltimore as headquarters for potential 2020 campaign: report Dem voters split on importance of women atop the ticket in 2020 MORE (Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Ocasio-Cortez returns to 'The Late Show' on Monday We need action on personal cybersecurity MORE (N.J.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichSchumer wants answers from Trump on eminent domain at border Manafort developments trigger new ‘collusion’ debate Senators say questions remain on Trump strategy in Syria after briefing MORE (N.M.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing Overnight Energy: Watchdog investigating EPA enforcement numbers | EPA's Wheeler faces Senate grilling | Interior's offshore drilling staff returning to work during shutdown EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Mass.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers The 15 Democrats who voted against Pelosi MORE (Ill.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDem calls for Cohen to testify before Senate panel over explosive report Speculation swirls over candidates to succeed Rosenstein Overnight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans MORE (R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDem senator requests FBI investigate Nielsen for potential perjury Trump officials discussed ‘deterrent effect’ of prosecuting migrant parents: report Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest partial shutdown 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.