House Dem: Money at the heart of Trump’s decisions on China, Russia, Turkey

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellCalifornia Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's riot lawsuit Tech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push MORE (D-Calif.) suggested early Tuesday that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE's business interests are driving his policy decisions regarding Russia, China and Turkey.

"I think the reason that he drew himself so closely to the Russians was that the Russians liked him and they invested in him. And he has made decisions that seem to favor them more than what would be our national security interests," Swalwell said on CNN's "New Day."

"With China, they did the same thing," he added. "Turkey – he has projects over there. When you ask, why does he like President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan so much? Well there’s a Trump Tower over in Turkey. So it does seem like the simplest explanation is the correct one — it’s money."

ADVERTISEMENT

Swalwell's comments came after Trump tweeted over the weekend that he was working with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to rescue Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE.

The company announced last week that it would cease major operations in response to U.S. sanctions, imposed because of its business dealings with Iran and North Korea.

Trump's tweet, which said that ZTE's failure had cost too many Chinese jobs, was unusual for a president that has long boasted about putting "America first" and bringing jobs back to the U.S.

HuffPost reported on Monday that just days before Trump announced that he would work to save ZTE, the Chinese government agreed to put as much as $500 million in loans into a theme park and resort in Indonesia. The Trump Organization reportedly has a deal to license the Trump name to the project.

Trump has faced scrutiny since entering the White House because of his business dealings. The real estate mogul declined to divest from his business empire upon taking office. He still retains ownership of the Trump Organization, though he handed day-to-day management of the company over to his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr.