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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Foreign money has currency in tales of the Trumps

A projector screen shows footage of U.S. President

A projector screen shows footage of U.S. President Donald Trump as workers wait for investors at a reception desk during an event promoting EB-5 investment in a Kushner Companies development at a hotel in Shanghai, China, Sunday, May 7, 2017. Photo Credit: AP

Foreign money keeps popping up as a theme in news reports about the Trump White House.

There’s first son-in-law Jared Kushner’s real estate family linking Chinese investments in one of their projects to immigration visas during an overseas sales pitch over the weekend.

There’s first daughter Ivanka Trump securing trademarks in China the same day last month that Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Mar-a-Lago.

There’s second son Eric Trump prominently denying that in 2014 he told a golf writer that funding for Trump-branded golf courses came from Russia.

There’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn having accepted payments from Russian organizations and more than $500,000 as a lobbyist for Turkey.

There’s former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s former employment by pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, reportedly probed by the FBI.

Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey are representing a wealthy Turkish gold trader fighting charges of violating Iran trade sanctions, a case with a diplomatic nexus.

Last month Trump’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, quit a consulting firm after Politico reported it suggested to prospective foreign clients it could “leverage” its “trusted relations with the U.S. administration” and others.

The potential for foreign money to flow to Trump became a concern before the inauguration. In a widely publicized news conference in January, his lawyer Sheri Dillon said he would give hotel profits generated by foreign government payments to the U.S. Treasury.

The president’s critics have sought to shoehorn the facts of Trump businesses, as they are known, into the obscure, so-called emoluments clause of the Constitution.

It says no U.S. official “shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

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