Before Donald Trump even took office in January 2017, serious concerns were being raised about his nebulous business connections with Russian oligarchs, Saudi royals and other international actors. The list was long and singularly troubling, made all the more so by Trump’s flat refusal to release his tax records despite repeated promises to do just that. Now that accusations of Iranian involvement in an attack on a major Saudi oil facility are flying out of the White House, Trump’s financial connections to Saudi Arabia have once again moved to center stage.
Trump’s financial dealings with Saudi Arabia have been anything but small change. In 2001, he sold the entire 45th floor of Trump Tower to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for $4.5 million. The fact that Trump is the 45th president serves as further proof that the universe has a gruesome sense of humor.
“The five apartments included 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms at the time of the sale,” reportsThe New York Daily News, “and had yearly common charges of $85,585 for building amenities, documents obtained by the Daily News show. If those common charges remain the same, Trump was paid at least $5.7 million by the Saudi government since 2001.” In 2008, that entire 45th floor of Trump Tower, according to the Daily News, “became part of the Saudi Mission to the United Nations.”