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Iraqi sheikh booked extended stay at Trump hotel after asking Trump officials for a favor

A wealthy Iraqi sheikh spent 26 nights in a suite in Trump’s D.C. hotel after lobbying for action in Iran.

By Emily Singer - June 06, 2019
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Donald Trump at his DC hotel

Here’s yet another disturbing example of the shadiness and corruption surrounding Trump and his business empire.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that an Iraqi sheikh spent a whopping 26 nights in a pricey suite in Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel — just four months after urging top U.S. officials to work with people who want to overthrow the government of Iran.

Nahro al-Kasnazan’s stay — which the Post described as an “unusually long” one, estimated to have cost tens of thousands of dollars — raises questions about foreign people corruptly influencing U.S. policy by staying in Trump’s properties. Since Trump still owns his businesses and properties, money from them still flows directly into Trump’s pockets.

It’s the exact reason why Democrats and other good government groups are both investigating and suing Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits foreign states from contributing to presidents.

Foreign governments spending money at Trump’s hotel properties is just one of the issues that could violate the Emoluments Clause. Aside from his hotel properties, seven foreign governments are also renting space in Trump’s condo buildings.

Kasnazan — who is facing charges in Iraq and would be arrested as soon as he returned to Iraq soil — claimed to the Washington Post that he didn’t stay at the hotel to lobby the Trump administration.

“We normally stay at the Hay-Adams hotel,” Kasnazan told the Washington Post. “But we just heard about this new Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., and thought it would be a good place to stay.”

It’s an odd claim, especially given that Kasnazan said he was in Washington, D.C., for medical treatment at a hospital in Baltimore — 45 miles away from the Trump hotel.

He also said that while he saw members of Trump’s family at the hotel, as well as people like Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, he never spoke to them nor did he speak to Trump.

Yet even if it’s believable that Kasnazan didn’t speak to any of those people during his stay, the fact that he spent tens of thousands of dollars that directly benefit Trump amounts to terrible optics, and raises questions about how Trump can remain objective on serious foreign policy issues.

Trump is not draining the swamp, as he promised. Instead, his shady business entanglements have created a mega swamp that should concern all Americans.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


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