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Trump Tower: Seven Foreign Governments Rented Condos in 2017 Without Congressional Approval

Seven foreign governments reportedly rented luxury condos in New York’s Trump World Tower in 2017—without approval from Congress. Reuters reports that, in the eight months following Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration, foreign governments sent 13 notes to the State Department asking permission to rent or renew leases in Trump World Tower. The governments of Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Thailand, and the European Union got the go-ahead to rent a total of eight units. Capitol Hill staffers told Reuters the lease requests were never submitted to Congress. The agreements are therefore a potential breach of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bans officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments without consent from Congress. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said: “This new information raises serious questions about the president and his businesses’ potential receipt of payments from foreign governments... The American public deserves full transparency.”