Trump meets with Indian business partners amid conflicts of interest concerns

Visit comes at time of heightened scrutiny of Trump's business interests

<em>From left: Donald Trump (credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons) and renderings of Trump Towers Pune (credit: Panchsil)</em>
From left: Donald Trump (credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons) and renderings of Trump Towers Pune (credit: Panchsil)

Donald Trump met with three Indian business partners last week, again raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest once he takes office.

The three real estate executives, who are building a Trump-branded luxury apartment complex, flew to the U.S. to congratulate Trump on his victory, the New York Times reported. A picture of the meeting was posted on Twitter:

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“It was not a formal meeting of any kind,” Breanna Butler, a spokesperson for the Trump Organization, told the Times.

But the executives — Sagar Chordia, Atul Chordia and Kalpesh Mehta — were quoted in Indian publications, saying that they discussed their partnership with the Trump Organization at the meeting. Legal experts said that the meeting raises questions about how he will keep his business dealings out of the Oval Office.

“There may be people for whom this looks O.K.,” Robert L. Walker, the former chief counsel of the Senate Ethics Committee, said. “But for a large part of the American public, it is not going to be O.K. His role as president-elect should dictate that someone else handles business matters.”

Other meetings have presented similar concerns. Photos from Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe show that his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, were also in attendance. Ivanka and her siblings are expected to take over Trump’s businesses when he becomes president. [NYT]Kathryn Brenzel