Chinese bank offered chance to dine with Trump for $150K per ticket: report

Chinese bank offered chance to dine with Trump for $150K per ticket: report
© Greg Nash

A Chinese state-owned bank reportedly offered $150,000 tickets to clients for the chance to dine with President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE at a Dallas fundraising dinner later this month.

China Construction Bank Corp. offered the tickets to private banking clients with U.S. visas, and promised photos and autographs from Trump and networking with U.S. “tycoons,” according to an invitation viewed by Bloomberg.

Trump is expected host a fundraising dinner with the Republican National Committee (RNC) on the evening of May 31, with tickets going for $50,000 each, one-third of the price of the tickets being sold by the Chinese bank, according to the news outlet.

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Trump’s reelection campaign and the RNC both told Bloomberg that they did not know about the Chinese bank offering tickets, and they have reportedly filed a complaint with the Justice Department about the Chinese bank offer.

It is against the law for U.S. political campaigns to accept donations from foreign nationals. That means that bank customers with U.S. passports would be the only ones eligible to attend the dinner, according to Bloomberg.

“We do not accept foreign donations of any kind,” a Trump campaign official told Bloomberg. “Since it has been brought to our attention, we have notified the appropriate authority about this unauthorized flier.”

A branch of China Construction Bank told Bloomberg that the tickets were acquired from a Shanghai-based travel agency and that the bank was not involved beyond advertising the tickets. The bank and travel agency both earned commissions on the sale of tickets, a source told Bloomberg.

The bank branch told Bloomberg that it would strengthen its “marketing oversight” in the future.

The travel agency said it was helping “a U.S. foundation and a Chinese entrepreneurs group” sell the tickets and that it is working with several other groups to promote the event.

The report comes after weeks of back-and-forth tariff threats between the U.S. and China and growing concerns of a trade war between the two countries. U.S. trade officials recently traveled to China for talks with officials about a potential deal.

Bloomberg reported that some of the invitations included references to trade friction with the U.S. and “progress” being made related to ZTE, the telecommunications giant that Trump said he was helping boost, despite it being under U.S. sanctions.

“As Sino-U.S. trade frictions have eased recently, Chinese businessmen including representatives from ZTE were invited to Dallas to attend President Trump’s dinner, and thus discuss cooperation and development with U.S. political and business elites,” one invitation sold by the bank read, references that were later removed, according to Bloomberg.