Trump Jr declares 'love' for Indian media during controversial business trip
Trump Jr declares 'love' for Indian media during controversial business trip
Trump Jr's visit to India slammed as 'profiteering'
24 February, 2018, 00:51
Robert Menendez, D-N.J., to the USA ambassador in India raising concerns about the embassy's engagement with Trump Jr., who is in India for the week to promote various Trump real estate projects around the country - a trip that has already netted $15 million in sales on Monday alone, according to one of his local partners.
Donald Trump Jr said at an Indian business summit that life since his father's election "has been hard from a family standpoint", but that he had enjoyed the coverage he received during this trip.
As Trump Jr. arrived in India earlier this week, national newspaper ads encouraged buyers to sign up early for Trump-branded condos in Gurgaon - about 20 miles outside New Delhi.
The initial title and the visit, in general, drew backlash from some politicians and ethics watchdogs, because they suspect that Trump Jr. would mix his father's politics with business during the weeklong visit.
One of the local developers, Kalpesh Mehta, told CNBC local affiliate TV 18 on Tuesday that they had already sold over $100 million worth of real estate in the Gurgaon towers in India - $15 million alone on Monday, after the Trump Jr. dinner offer appeared in newspapers.
The eldest son of United States President Donald Trump is in India to promote luxury projects, including one that offers a private jet facility for residents in Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata.
The event's original agenda - up until Wednesday evening - suggested that Trump Jr. would focus on geopolitics during a session titled "Reshaping Indo-Pacific Ties: The New Era of Cooperation". With summer already approaching, it's already far too warm to be lighting cosy fires in New Delhi.
The U.S. State Department said the embassy was supporting the Secret Service team responsible for Trump Jr. but otherwise had no role in his visit.
In the letter to Ambassador Kenneth Juster, Menendez asked if diplomats had briefed Trump Jr. during his visit or provided any support staff. Menendez also asked Juster whether any steps were taken "to make clear to the Indian government and citizens of the country that Mr. Trump in no way speaks on behalf of the United States government".
The president's eldest son is set to give a foreign policy speech at a global business summit in New Delhi on Friday alongside India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, and other high-ranking Indian government officials.
On Thursday, White House spokeswoman Lindsay E Walters said the Trump administration "takes seriously its obligation to ensure that government resources are not used to provide a private benefit to anyone".
Ethicists have raised concerns about the possible mixing of Trump family business interests with the policies of President Trump.
Its name has been licensed to about five real estate projects in India.
President Trump has pledged to avoid any new foreign business deals during his term in office to avoid potential ethical conflicts.
India is Trump Organisation's biggest worldwide market, with four real estate projects underway in Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, and Gurugram.
The Trump Organization has licensing agreements with all its Indian business partners, who build the properties and acquire the Trump name in exchange for a fee.
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