Though Donald Trump has rejected the advice of the Office of Government Ethics and refused to create any meaningful firewall between his administration and his business empire, he has made one specific pledge to limit his conflicts. The Trump companies, he promised in December, will make “no new deals” during his presidency.
Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2016
Though ethics experts have pointed out that this will do little to solve his masshousive and unconstitutional conflicts of interest, a key Trump business partner in the United Arab Emirates does not believe Trump’s “no new deals” policy will in any way limit new deals.
Hussein Sajwani is the billionaire chairman of DAMAC Properties, a property development company based in Dubai. His company partnered with Trump to create Trump International Golf Club Dubai, the first Trump golf course in the Middle East. Forbes magazine dubbed him “The Donald of Dubai.” A December 2015 article in the United Kingdom’s Telegraph noted that though Trump was photographed with Sajwani at the club’s 2014 launch, his partner would likely be prevented from traveling to the United States under Trump’s proposed Muslim ban.
Still, Sajwani told NBC News, he is eager to do more deals with the Trumps. “All his three children are very much involved, and I think under their leadership we will have no issue in expanding and growing and maintaining our business relation…” Sajwani said. “My wife and Ivanka are very good friends,” he added. “They send emails. She’s been here to my house. We’ve been in New York having lunch and dinners with them regularly. And, you know, you enjoy working with somebody — it’s not only cold business relation.”
Sajwani also said he believes Trump’s election will strengthen the value of his eponymous resorts. “Definitely good news,” he said of the election. “Naturally, I think we will benefit from the strength of the brand going forward.” While he claimed they have not “discussed anything,” he noted that he would “love to enhance the relation with the Trump Organization.”
ThinkProgress reported last month that the embassy of Kuwait, under pressure, had moved a major event from the Four Seasons to a Trump hotel in Washington, D.C.