Report: Trump Praised His Turkish Business Partner in Call With Turkish President
I’ll note the source so you can ignore the piece and rail against me for linking it. Huffington Post: Trump Touted His Turkish Business Partner In A Call With President Erdogan:
When President-elect Donald Trump spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Nov. 9, he mentioned one of his Turkish business partners as a “close friend” and passed on his remarks that he is “your great admirer.”
The twinned Trump Towers bear the president-elect’s name in Istanbul. Dogan Holding, a massive media and real estate conglomerate in Turkey, owns the conjoined buildings and pays the Trump Organization to license the Trump name and brand. It can now rely on that name and brand to be sitting in the Oval Office and singing its praises to President Erdogan.
In his call with the Turkish leader, Trump passed on praise for Erdogan from Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, son-in-law of Dogan Holding owner Aydin Dogan and former president of the Dogan Media Group. His wife, Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindage, sits on the board of Dogan Holding. He’s friends with the Trump family and had worked closely on the Trump Towers project in Istanbul. On election night, he attended Trump’s shocking victory celebration at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan.
Trump’s praise for Mehmet Ali Yalcindag was first reported by Amberin Zaman in the independent Turkish paper Diken. Zaman’s report has since been picked up by other Turkish newspapers and television stations.
I don’t know anything about the independent Turkish paper Diken. If anyone has any further information on that, let me know. Or you can just dismiss it out of hand because it came from the Huffington Post, ignoring the fact that the story originated elsewhere.
If the report is true, it provides a fairly strong answer to those who say: “What is a businessman supposed to do?” Not praising your business partner would be a nice start.
UPDATE: BfC provides a Washington Examiner link that disputes the above account:
Donald Trump did not heap praise on a Turkish business partner in a call with Turkish President Recep Erdogan right after his election, as reported by the Huffington Post, according to the source cited by the news outlet. Instead, the new American president-elect used his Turkish business partner’s praise of Erdogan as a way of buttering up the foreign leader.
That version of the call comes from journalist and Wilson Center fellow Amberin Zaman in an article originally published in the Turkish newspaper Diken. She claims that her reporting was badly twisted by the Huffington Post to make an erroneous claim about Trump’s use of the presidential office to enrich his business dealings.
“HuffingtonPost got it wrong. Trump did not praise b[usiness] partner. He said b[usiness] partner praised Erdogan,” she wrote on Twitter Wednesday night.
. . . .
Cue the Huffington Post civics lecture: “The praise heaped on his Turkish business partner in the call with Erdogan is just the most recent sign of Trump’s near impossible task in avoiding the significant conflicts of interest his global real estate business presents.”
Wrong, said the author of the original scoop. While it is true that Trump referred to Yalcindaq as “my close friend,” argued Zaman, the purpose of those words was to praise Erdogan, not Yalcindaq. And according to her report, Trump laid it on extra thick, saying his favorite daughter Ivanka was also an admirer of the Turkish strongman.
His daughter Ivanka, let us all recall, will take a leading role in running the Trump Organization.
I appreciate the link. As I said in the post, I was seeking more information, and this link provides some. As a debunking of the facts reported in the Huffington Post piece, it is quite good.
As a “debunking” of conflict-of-interests concerns, however, this does not do the trick. The facts as revealed by the Washington Examiner are that Trump: 1) made an unnecessary reference to his business partner in a call with a foreign leader; and 2) made sure that the foreign leader knew that his business partner — and his child, who will be running his business — are admirers of the foreign leader. And have business interests in the foreign leader’s country.
How this clarification dispels any concerns over conflicts of interest is a complete and utter mystery to me. In fact, it just makes it worse — and reinforces for me the belief that Trump will be mixing business and foreign affairs throughout his presidency, and counting on his fans to defend him.
This is banana republic stuff. But I guess it’s what the American people want. Who am I to argue with their infinite wisdom?