President Trump sought to invest in Cuba in the late 1990s, potentially violating U.S. law, according to a Newsweek report.
“They clearly knew what the rules were and flouted them,” the article’s author, Kurt Eichenwald, said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“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 U.S. 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 Corp. 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—how to make it appear legal by linking it after the fact to a charitable effort.”
Trump now says his company never paid a consultant 2 go to Cuba and never discussed how to make the biz trip look humanitarian. He’s a liar. pic.twitter.com/opehJojN6M
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) September 29, 2016
President Trump signed an order on Friday canceling President Obama’s historic move towards easing restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba, while imposing a new policy that banned educational trips to the country and reinforced trade sanctions.
“The previous administration’s easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the Cuban people. They only enrich the Cuban regime,” Trump said. “Our policy begins with strictly enforcing U.S. law.”
The Congressional Cuba Working Group released a statement on President Trump’s plan to roll back Cuba normalization efforts.
— Cuban Embassy in US (@EmbaCubaUS) June 16, 2017
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said it is time to “fully lift these archaic restrictions.”
Jeff Flake hits Trump on Cuba: It is time to “fully lift these archaic restrictions”. pic.twitter.com/t2wYXmDI0u
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 16, 2017
U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) also released a statement against President Trump’s Cuba policy.
— David Lippman THV11 (@david_lippman) June 16, 2017
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “@VP: your administration has spent months cozying up to Duterte, el-Sisi & Putin, so actually you DO stand with tyrants.”
“Closing the door on Cuba hurts families in both countries & damages our global standing. The American people want to #KeepCubaOpen!”
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) June 16, 2017
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Association for the Advancement of Science also released statements criticizing Trump’s Cuba policy.
The Cuban ambassador to the United States, José Ramón Cabañas, trolled President Trump on Twitter on Friday, tweeting “#Cuba Now it is official: these are the new enemies of US Foreign Policy. Watch out!!,” along with a picture of what appears to be a family of tourists walking by a street vendor. However, the tweet was deleted shortly after it was posted.