On MSNBC’s ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ on Wednesday, Rachel Maddow gave viewers an exclusive look at a bombshell report to be released by Newsweek magazine on Thursday.
According to the reporting by Kurt Eichenwald, which Maddow’s program had advance access to, a company controlled by Donald Trump “secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency” even though it was illegal at the time.
According to the report:
A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.
Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company, then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, on how to make the venture appear legal by linking it after-the-fact to a charitable effort.
The payment by Trump Hotels came just before the New York business mogul launched his first bid for the White House by seeking the nomination of the Reform Party. On his first day of the campaign, he traveled to Miami where he spoke to a group of Cuban-Americans, a critical voting bloc in the swing state. Trump vowed to maintain the embargo and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power. He did not disclose that, seven months earlier, Trump Hotels already had spent money sending consultants on the secret trip to conduct business in Havana.
This damning report is just the latest when it comes to Trump’s shady financial dealings.
In another Newsweek report from two weeks ago, Eichenwald reported that Trump’s organization has “deep ties to global financiers, foreign politicians and even criminals.”
What’s particularly rich about the latest report is that Trump had publicly claimed that he wouldn’t do business with Cuba until Castro was gone. Behind the scenes, though, Trump was carrying out illegal business activities.
This story and all of Donald Trump’s financial ties deserve a level of media scrutiny that – even with 40 days until Americans vote in the general election – they still haven’t gotten. It also again underscores how important it is that Trump either release his tax returns or be held accountable for not doing so.
Who’s the corrupt candidate again?
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.