Donald Trump Jr. has arrived in India, where he is slated to give a controversial foreign policy speech later this week
President Donald Trump’s eldest son has arrived in India for what is being called an “unofficial” visit to promote his family’s real estate projects.
On Tuesday morning, Donald Trump Jr. mingled and posed for photos with Indian developers who are building Trump-branded luxury apartment complexes in several Indian cities, MSN reported.
But on Friday, Trump Jr. is slated to give a foreign policy speech about Indo-Pacific relations alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, The Washington Post reported on Monday. And since Trump Jr. — who along with brother Eric now leads The Trump Organization — has no official role in his father’s administration, his planned speech is getting plenty of criticism on Twitter, including from former first daughter Chelsea Clinton.
Clinton subtly shaded Trump Jr. in her response to user @GuardianRover, who tweeted: “Imagine if Chelsea Clinton was paid to give a foreign policy speech while Hillary Clinton was president…”
Clinton retweeted and quipped, “My imagination doesn’t stretch this far.”
As The Washington Post noted, the president did not divest himself of his businesses when he took office, instead turning over the day-to-day operations of his company to sons Don Jr. and Eric. Eric Trump told the Post last year that “the company and policy and government are completely separated. We have built an unbelievable wall in between the two.”
While plans for the projects that Trump Jr. is promoting in India were reportedly made before his father was elected, watchdog groups — and critics on Twitter — argue that Trump Jr.’s visit is a “conflict of interest.”
“Trump’s company is literally selling access to the president’s son overseas,” Jordan Libowitz, the communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told the Post. “For many people wanting to impact American policy in the region, the cost of a condo is a small price to pay to lobby one of the people closest to the president, far away from watchful eyes.”
Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, and others made similar arguments on Twitter.
“Bit of a conflict of interest,” one commenter said of Trump Jr. mixing real estate meet-and-greets with foreign policy remarks.
“Why go through the typical lobbying and disclosure process when you can pay for access to the president’s son,” another tweet said.