Donald Trump Junior to wine and dine luxury flat buyers in India, Raising Ethics Concerns
Dozens of property investors and their families will be treated to dinner with Donald Trump junior in Delhi this week after snapping up flats in a Trump Towers luxury project in Gurgaon, a satellite town near Delhi, where many major companies now have their headquarters.
The developers of the 600-foot high-rises unveiled a sleek sales office in Gurgaon last week, claiming they racked up $23 million in sales – more than 20 units – in the first day but is expected to reach 100 before the promotion expires on Thursday.
At 2.5 million rupees (around $39,000) just for the downpayment on the smallest and cheapest flat, that is well beyond most Indians.
The 47-storey towers will comprise 250 homes and are expected to be completed by 2023, with price ranging from 55-110 million rupees ($850,000-$1.7 million).
Indian newspapers carried advertisements of Trump Towers on Monday promising prospective buyers their neighbours would include a “renowned industrialist”, “art maestro” and “famous Indian cricketer”.
Along with the Trump Towers Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) in Gurgaon, which is expected to be completed in 2023, the projects include two residential towers in Pune, a tower with a glittering gold facade in Mumbai, a planned office tower in Gurgaon and another residential project in Kolkata. All are being built with local partners, with the Trump Organization giving permission to use its brand and taking a share of the profits.
The launch of the new towers comes amid rising concerns that President Donald Trump’s children – including Trump Jr. and Eric, who are running their father’s business while he serves as president – are using their names to profit from their father’s presidency, and that foreign governments and others may stay in Trump hotels or buy Trump properties in attempts to curry favor or gain special access to the first family.
Norman Eisen, the co-chairman of CREW – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington – and a former Obama ethics adviser, called the Indian developers’ offer “outrageous.”
“They are auctioning off access to the first family in a foreign land. What is to stop a foreign national with interests before the U.S. government from purchasing a flat, or tagging along with someone who did, simply to ask Don Junior to raise some issue or concern with his father?” Eisen said.
The Trump Organization has more business entities in India than any other foreign country, financial filings show, with licensing bringing in estimated payments of between $1.6 million and $11 million since 2014.