Treasury confirms it received check for Trump Organization foreign profits

Treasury confirms it received check for Trump Organization foreign profits
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The Treasury Department has received a check from the Trump Organization donating the profits that its hotels made from foreign governments, a department spokesperson said Monday.

The spokesperson confirmed that the Treasury Department has received a check from President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE's company, but did not reveal the amount it was for or what date it was received.

The Trump Organization on Monday told The Associated Press that the company has donated to the U.S. Treasury the profits made from foreign governments since President Trump’s election.

George Sorial, a Trump Organization executive vice president, said in a statement to the AP that the company sent a payment to the Treasury Department on Feb. 22.

Sorial didn’t disclose the amount of the payment, which was to cover all Trump profits from foreign governments received between Jan. 20 and Dec. 31, 2017, according to the AP.

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The company has said it would donate obvious payments from foreign governments, but wouldn’t probe into potential expenses on behalf of countries.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump had promised to step away from his namesake business and take steps to diminish the appearance of conflicts before taking office last year. He maintained his financial stake but left control of the company to his sons, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor PETA billboard in Baltimore calls Kushner a 'rich pest' Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll Eric, Lara Trump welcome second baby Trump tweets photo of Trump Tower in Greenland: 'I promise not to do this' MORE, and pledged not to discuss or review the state of the business with them.

Trump also pledged that the company would donate all profits made from foreign governments patronizing his hotels while in office.

Critics and ethics watchdogs have insisted that receiving such payments violates a provision of the Constitution barring public officials from accepting gifts from foreign governments.

Noah Bookbinder, executive director for ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, called Monday’s announcement “wholly inadequate.”

“There is no transparency as to how much money they donated, how they arrived at that number, how profits were calculated, or where the profits came from. As we have pointed out before, their plan, even if fully implemented, is woefully insufficient,” Bookbinder said. “There is no independent oversight or accountability. We’re being asked to take their word for it.”

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia are suing Trump and his company over the receipt of foreign payments, arguing it violates the Constitution. The complaint also claims Trump's Washington hotel unfairly detracts from D.C. revenues from events that could have otherwise been hosted at locations the district either owns or shares profits with.

Maryland also cited a potential loss in tax revenue from patrons who could skip over the MGM National Harbor hotel and casino, just beyond the D.C border. Maryland casinos are forced under state law to give a cut of their gambling revenue to the state.

Updated at 5:16 p.m.