This week in Donald Trump's conflicts of interest: Everything is coming up Trump

The president continues to treat the world stage like his personal playground for profit

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 11, 2017 11:30AM (EST)

 (Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Shutterstock/Salon)
(Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Shutterstock/Salon)

If there is one thing that must be conceded about President Donald Trump's conflicts of interest, it's that they span the globe. A documentary following his various financial entanglements would have to perform globetrotting on the scale of a James Bond flick.

Let's get started.

Trump opened a hotel in the capital of Azerbaijan with "The Corleones of the Caspian" as his partners

You'd think with a nickname like "The Corleones of the Caspian," the Trump Organization would want to steer clear of opening the Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku with the Mammadov family. After all, the billionaire oligarch Ziya Mammadov — whose son, Amar Mammadov, controls Garant Holding, the partner in this project — is also financially tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Revolutionary Guard is accused of a number of illegal activities, including sponsoring terrorism.

China is suddenly in the mood to grant preliminary approval to trademarks for various Trump merchandise

Remember when, last month, Trump abruptly conceded to China on the issue of a One China policy — and then, less than a week later, China suddenly registered a trademark for Trump's business empire, one that had been moving along at a glacial pace for more than a decade?

As of Monday, China has given preliminary approval to 38 additional Trump trademarks, including not just his hotels but also bodyguards, concierge services, and golf clubs.

Trump's Mar-a-Lago guests are paying six figures just to get close to him and his staff

It is already well-known that the business elite can pay $200,000 to join Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and that the president has spent four of the last five weekends at that resort hobnobbing with its members — and also bringing powerful administration officials with him. If the notion of a president personally profiting from selling access to himself rubs you the wrong way, you're not alone. Eight Democratic senators are pushing for Mar-a-Lago as well as the White House to release their visitors' logs so that the public can know who has been granted access to the president.

Check out those Trump golf courses!

On Thursday, President Donald Trump's son Eric Trump told the New York Times, "The stars have all aligned. I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been."

Much like the simple-minded portrayal of Eric Trump parodied on "Saturday Night Live," the real-life version seems to have admitted too much. After all, it doesn't look good that a sitting president will make bank off of the Senior PGA Championship being held at the Trump National Gulf Club in the Washington, D.C., suburbs on Memorial Day weekend, or that the United States Women's Open will be held at a Trump course in Bedminster, NJ in July. As the Trump golf courses continue to bid for more major exhibitions, it will be impossible to determine how much their success will be the result of the fact that companies that award them with contracts will be putting money in the president's pocket.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Azerbaijan China Donald Trump Iran Mar-a-lago Terrorism This Week In Donald Trump Conflicts Of Interest