Trump firm dissolved Qatari ties after inauguration


Photographs by AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

In this Friday, June 16, 2017, file photo President Donald Trump speaks about Cuba policy in Miami.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Six days after Donald Trump was inaugurated as America's 45th president, the Trump Organization dissolved subsidiaries created to pursue business opportunities in Qatar, according to a financial disclosure form filed on his behalf.

Trump turned managerial control over to his two adult sons before entering the White House, vowing his eponymous enterprise would not pursue any more deals abroad while he served as president.

In recent days, Trump repeatedly has accused Qatar of funding extremists, amid an effort by several Arab nations, led by Saudi Arabia, to isolate the peninsular nation.

Alan Garten, an executive vice president and chief legal officer at the Trump Organization, said Saturday that dissolving the subsidiaries was "consistent with our 'no new foreign deals' pledge."

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"We no longer have any use for these entities," he said.

Trump as a businessman long sought to enter Qatar, a tiny gas-rich nation that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is home to some 10,000 American soldiers at a key U.S. military base. He traveled to the Qatari capital, Doha, in April 2008 to see developments there.

He tweeted in March 2015 that the Trump Organization planned a hotel in Doha, alongside ones in Saudi Arabia and in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Trump also praised Qatar during his presidential campaign, lauding Doha's new international airport.

"You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible" airports, Trump said at his first debate with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. "You see these incredible airports and ... we've become a third-world country."

But deals in Qatar eluded Trump. In Dubai, however, Trump's sons opened a Trump-branded golf club in February, and local developer DAMAC Properties plans another, despite concerns in the U.S. over the Trump Organization's international work. Trump previously told journalists that DAMAC had offered the Trump Organization $2 billion in deals after his election, something DAMAC confirmed.

In his financial disclosure filed Friday with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Trump lists four separate Qatar-related entities that were dissolved on Jan. 26. Trump's inauguration was Jan. 20. The four subsidiaries are DT Marks Qatar LLC, DT Marks Qatar Member Corp., THC Qatar Hotel Manager LLC and THC Qatar Hotel Manager Member Corp.

While Trump's administration has called for Gulf unity and noted Qatar's support through hosting American soldiers, Trump has accused Doha of funding terrorism "at a very high level."

For his Dubai earnings, Trump listed receiving "management fees" of $12,984 from the golf course. That's down from the $1 million to $5 million for the projects he declared on a U.S. Federal Election Commission report submitted in May 2016. However, the report Friday notes Trump's licensing fees and earnings often vary during projects and include upfront payments.

The Qatar entities are among over 540 subsidiaries listed on the form. The filing notes several associated with hoped-for projects with Saudi Arabia that had been dissolved in November, as was previously reported by The Associated Press.

Also dissolved Jan. 26 was TC Marks Buenos Aires LLC. The Trump Organization had wanted to build a tower in the Argentine capital but said in January that it wouldn't continue "exploratory" talks over projects there and in Pune, India.

A Section on 06/18/2017

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