In the final weeks of the 2016 election, the eldest son of President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., traveled to Paris to speak at an event hosted by a pro-Russia group that advances the Kremlin's foreign policy interests. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Trump Jr. was "likely" paid $50,000 for his engagement.
The Center of Political and Foreign Affairs, which held the event, was founded by a French businessman and his Syrian-born wife who have substantial investments in Russia. One of the current missions of the group is to end the Syrian civil war. The ties to Russia became more apparent after the French power couple nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize.
A representative from the Trump Organization told The Journal that the speech was hardly unusual.
"Donald Trump Jr. has been participating in business-related speaking engagements for over a decade — discussing a range of topics including sharing his entrepreneurial experiences and offering career specific advice," said Amanda Miller, the company's vice president of marketing.
Trump Jr. was not the only American affiliated with a presidential campaign who attended an event held by the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs. In October, James Rubin, a former State Department spokesman who served in Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, was paid nearly $40,000 to appear at a different event.
According to a booking agency that represents Trump Jr., the president's eldest son commands a minimum of $50,000 per speech. When the Wall Street Journal asked the Trump Organization about his speech and the fee he received, he did not deny receiving the $50,000.