Presidential Campaign

How much money does The Trump Organization owe Russia and China?

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Americans do not know the extent of Donald Trump’s business relations with Russia or China, but we need to know.

In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. — the GOP nominee’s son and the VP for Development for The Trump Organization — told attendees at a real estate conference in New York City that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Americans need to know how much money has poured into The Trump Organization from Russia and from whom. Sergei Millian, the president of the U.S. Russian Chamber of Commerce and friend of Trump, claims in 2016 the figure is in the hundreds of millions.

{mosads}Russians are not the only American adversaries to support Trump’s business. The state-owned Central Bank of China has loaned Trump hundreds of millions of dollars. The New York Times has reported that American companies owned by Trump have at least $650 million in debt and the Bank of China is among the lenders. Voters need to know how much Trump and his businesses owe Chinese banks as well as Russian oligarchs.

On the campaign trail Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin while hiring pro-Russian advisers to fill top campaign positions. Paul Manafort served as Trump’s campaign chairman until scrutiny over his consulting and lobbying work for Viktor Yanukovych, the Russian-backed former president of Ukraine, forced his resignation. Carter Page served as a foreign policy adviser for Trump until U.S. intelligence officials began looking into whether Mr. Page had opened a line of communication with senior Russian officials to discuss lifting economic sanctions on Russia should Trump win the presidency. These sanctions were imposed on Russia following Putin’s invasion of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Trump’s military advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, unfortunately allowed himself to be used as a validator for Russian propaganda last year when he was seated near Putin at a Moscow gala celebrating Russia Today. Russia Today TV is Putin’s propaganda machine.

Let’s not forget Trump promised the American people he would disclose his tax returns. He has broken this promise. Trump is hiding his tax returns by saying that an ongoing IRS audit prevents any disclosures. This is untrue and Trump knows it. It is an absurd excuse designed to hide his failure to pay taxes and to hide his financial entanglements with Russian and Chinese interests.

The American people deserve to know what foreign interests have loaned money to Donald Trump and how much. Public disclosure of Trump’s tax returns and other financial information will reveal the extent of his personal and financial entanglements with the Russian billionaires who are allies of Putin, and often adversaries of American interests. Detailed financial information will also reveal how much money Trump has borrowed from government-dominated Chinese banks.

We have never elected a president who has such undisclosed financial entanglements with countries hostile to our interests. Americans need to know the extent of these entanglements with Russia and China before casting their votes. We do not want to wake up the day after election to learn that we have elected a president who owes Putin’s oligarch friends in Russia and the Central Bank of China hundreds of millions of dollars.     


Jim Slattery, a Democrat, represented Kansas’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1983 to 1995. Chris Shays, a Republican, represented Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1987 to 2009. Michael Andrews, a Democrat, represented Texas’s 25th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1983 to 1995. Tom Coleman, a Republican, represented Missouri’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1976 to 1993. Kent Conrad, a Democrat, represented North Dakota in the U.S. Senate from 1987 to 2013. Byron Dorgan, a Democrat, represented North Dakota in the U.S. Senate from 1992 to 2011. Bennett Johnston, a Democrat, represented Louisiana in the U.S. Senate from 1972 to 1997. Richard Swett, a Democrat, represented New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House from 1991 to 1995 and served as U.S. ambassador to Denmark from 1998 to 2001.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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