Trump Organization ended Qatar push 6 days after swearing in
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Jun 17, 2017, 12:22 PM ET
Trump had turned managerial control over to his two adult sons before entering the White House, vowing his eponymous enterprise would not pursue more deals abroad as he served as president.
In recent days, Trump repeatedly has accused Qatar of funding extremists amid an effort by several Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia to isolate the peninsular nation.
Alan Garten, an executive vice president and chief legal officer at the Trump Organization, told The Associated Press on Saturday that dissolving the subsidiaries was "consistent with our no new foreign deals pledge."
"We no longer have any use for these entities," he said.
Trump as a businessman long sought to enter Qatar, a tiny gas-rich nation that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is home to some 10,000 American soldiers at a major U.S. military base. He traveled to the Qatari capital, Doha, in April 2008 to see developments there.
He tweeted in March 2015 that the Trump Organization planned a hotel in Doha, alongside ones in Saudi Arabia, well as in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Trump also praised Qatar during his presidential campaign, in which he lauded Doha's new international airport.
"You land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, and you come in from Dubai and Qatar and you see these incredible" airports, Trump said at his first debate with Hillary Clinton. "You see these incredible airports, and ... we've become a third-world country."
But deals in Qatar eluded Trump. In Dubai, however, Trump's sons opened a Trump-branded golf club in February and local developer DAMAC Properties plans another despite concerns in the U.S. over the Trump Organization's international work . Trump previously told journalists that DAMAC had offered the Trump Organization $2 billion in deals after his election , something DAMAC also confirmed.
In his financial disclosure filed Friday with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Trump lists four separate Qatar-related entities that were dissolved on Jan. 26. Trump's inauguration was Jan. 20. The four subsidiaries are DT Marks Qatar LLC, DT Marks Qatar Member Corp., THC Qatar Hotel Manager LLC and THC Qatar Hotel Manager Member Corp.
In the weeks since Trump's May visit to Saudi Arabia, his first foreign trip as president, Sunni Arab Gulf nations have seen increasing turmoil.
The upheaval has been capped by the Saudi-led effort to isolate Qatar after it and other Arab nations cut diplomatic ties to Doha over its alleged support of Islamists and extremists, as well as its close ties to Iran. Qatar long has denied funding extremists, though Western diplomats allege lax oversight allows such funding to continue. Qatar also shares a massive offshore natural gas field with Iran, requiring them to stay in communication.
While Trump's administration has called for Gulf unity and noted Qatar's support through hosting American soldiers, Trump himself has accused Doha of funding terrorism "at a very high level."
For his Dubai earnings, Trump listed just receiving "management fees" of $12,984 from the golf course. That's down from the between $1 million to $5 million for the projects he declared on a U.S. Federal Election Committee report submitted in May 2016. However, the report Friday notes Trump's licensing fees and earnings often vary during projects and include upfront payments.
The Qatar entities are among over 540 different subsidiaries listed on the form. It notes several associated with hoped-for projects with Saudi Arabia that had been dissolved in November as previously reported by the AP .
Also dissolved on Jan. 26 was TC Marks Buenos Aires LLC. The Trump Organization had wanted to build a Trump Tower in the Argentine capital, but said in January that it wouldn't continue "exploratory" talks over projects there and in Pune, India.