Terrorist Blood Money Helps Fund Donald Trump

It looks like Cuba wasn’t the only hostile regime that GOP Nominee Donald Trump was willing to do business with. The businessman — who has been a vocal critic of the Iranian nuclear agreement throughout his campaign — had no problem with taking money from an Iranian bank linked to international terrorist activity and nuclear development. Furthermore, the banks’ clients were specifically singled out by the Bush Administration after the 9/11 attacks yet the professional relationship with Donald Trump continued.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists notes:

Trump inherited Bank Melli, one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks, as a tenant when he purchased the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, according to public records reviewed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Center for Public Integrity. The Trump Organization kept the bank on as a tenant for four more years after the U.S. Treasury Department designated Bank Melli in 1999 as being controlled by the Iranian government.

U.S. officials later alleged that Bank Melli had been used to obtain sensitive materials for Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. authorities also alleged that the bank had been used between 2002 and 2006 to funnel money to a unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that has sponsored terrorist attacks — a period that overlapped with the time the bank rented office space from Trump.

 

Trump can not have it both ways. Is he the “hands on” business leader he claims to be? Or was he completely ignorant of the fact that he was renting to the Iranian bank? Unfortunately for the nominee, it’s nearly impossible to claim one without disproving the other.

Renting To Iranian Bank Is ‘Pretty Hypocritical’

Despite failing to mention it during his debacle of a performance during the first presidential debate,  Trump has made the list of foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation a key talking point in his quest for the presidency. But this report sheds light on the terrorist blood money that has flowed into his own personal coffers. The ICIJ report continues:

“It’s a pretty hypocritical position to take,” said Richard Nephew, who served from 2013 to 2015 as principal deputy coordinator of sanctions policy at the U.S. State Department and spent nearly a decade working on Iran sanctions in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “It suggests that his principles are pretty flexible when it comes to him getting paid.”

A court document obtained by ICIJ indicates that Bank Melli’s rent on more than 8,000 square feet on the GM Building’s 44th floor may have topped half a million dollars a year.

Furthermore, the business relationship may be a treasonous violation of the broad spectrum of sanctions against Iran enacted under President Bill Clinton in 1995 and 1997.

At the time, the U.S. had a sweeping embargo in place which prohibited Americans from doing business with Iran, including receiving rent payments. However, some Iranian organizations were granted licenses exempting specific transactions from sanctions. If the payments were licensed, it may have been legally difficult for the Trump Organization to evict the bank.

The Treasury Department does not publicly disclose individual licenses granting companies exemptions from sanctions rules. The Treasury Department, the Trump campaign and Bank Melli all declined to answer whether the agency had issued a license to the Trump Organization or the bank permitting rent payments during Trump’s ownership of the building.

 

We’ve been down this road with Trump before. It seems like every time you follow the money from less than desirable sources, that cash ends up in the hands of the man Republicans have decided is the most qualified individual to lead their party.  Furthermore, every uncovered stone reveals more evidence that the man will always value profit over principle. At this point, could we assume he’d be blind to a bribe from any enemy? With an adulation of Vladimir Putin and a willingness to accept payments from all comers, he’s painted the American people a perfect picture of how he would govern global affairs.

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