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International

Before his claims of corruption, Trump tried to build a resort in Ukraine

19:20, Wednesday, 06 November, 2019
Before his claims of corruption, Trump tried to build a resort in Ukraine

In 2006, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump traveled to Ukraine to meet with government officials about building a multimillion dollar hotel and golf course in the country. Two years later, Trump Jr. was back to meet with developers.

The Trumps were looking to erect luxury resorts across the former Soviet republics, and Ukraine seemed like a promising location. But doing so meant navigating a landscape that had long struggled with corruption. And as part of its overtures, the Trump Organization engaged developers Dmitry Buriak and felon Felix Sater, both of whom have had business interests in Russia.

Now, a decade after his company’s efforts floundered, President Donald Trump is arguing that it’s the son of his political rival Joe Biden, not him, who wanted to benefit from what he calls a “very corrupt” Ukraine.

The president’s critics say it’s a now-familiar Trumpian contradiction, one that raises further doubts about the president’s claim he merely wanted to root out corruption when he pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens — a revelation that sparked a House impeachment inquiry.

There are no accusations that the Trump Organization crossed any legal lines with its early-2000s effort in Ukraine — much of which has not been previously reported in American media. But the overtures offer another example of the complications of a businessman-turned-president making foreign policy decisions in places where he has had — or tried to have — significant financial interests. Trump has faced similar scrutiny in both countries where he has developments, including Turkey, India and the Philippines, and those where he tried and failed, such as Russia.

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