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Raskin: Trump has fulfilled 'worst fears and nightmares' of founders with foreign spending at businesses

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday to discuss Democrats’ recent report that former President Trump’s businesses took in at least $7.8 million from foreign entities in 20 countries while he was in the White House.

“The founders of our Constitution were terrified that presidents or other federal officials or members of Congress would sell out the American national interests simply by receiving money from foreign governments and doing their bidding,” Raskin told Mika Brzezinski in comments highlighted by Mediaite. “And Donald Trump has fulfilled the worst fears and nightmares of the founders.”

Oversight Committee Democrats found that the nearly $8 million in payments Trump took in could violate the constitutional prohibition on accepting funds from foreign governments. A majority of the payments, about $5.6 million, came from China and went to Trump’s hotels in Washington and Las Vegas and Trump Tower in New York, their report found.

Raskin cautioned that the total number is likely larger because the report covered only two of Trump’s four years in office, related to only four of Trump’s more than 500 businesses and was able to examine only 20 countries. Still, it shows foreign governments and agents made payments directly to Trump-owned businesses while he was in the White House.

“So this is likely to be just a fraction of what he took,” Raskin said. “But still, the founders of our country would be absolutely scandalized, as would be every other president we’ve ever had in American history.”

“It was a money-making operation from the beginning, and we’re just starting to find the millions and millions of dollars that he collected from governments,” he continued.

Raskin said his Republican colleagues, who have launched an impeachment inquiry into President Biden over his family’s business dealings, are turning a blind eye to the “documented receipts of that taking place during the Trump administration.”

The Maryland Democrat pointed out various times throughout history when presidents received gifts or funds from other countries and turned them down. He called on Trump, the far-and-away front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, to return the $7.8 million.

“And here we have Trump just pocketing millions of dollars directly from some of the most corrupt regimes on Earth that were looking for particular things, and he continues just to go on his merry way,” Raskin said, adding the report outlines how the money from the foreign governments “definitely influenced” what Trump did in respect to China and Saudi Arabia.

Source: The Hill

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