More than 50 former government officials and national security bureaucrats have penned an open letter to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling on him to reveal all of his international business connections.
The letter, which was published in The New York Times, makes a clear inquiry:
Donald Trump still has not revealed to the American public his international business relationships, even as it becomes increasingly clear that his overseas ties could well constitute significant conflicts of interest when it comes to charting US foreign policy. This is unprecedented for a candidate for the nation's highest office. As such, we are calling on Mr. Trump to disclose, in full, the nature of his business relationships overseas -- to include specifically who his business partners are and what and where are his foreign investments. We also call on him to pledge that he will divest himself of his overseas business interests should he win the presidency.
Among the more notable signatories to the letter are Michael Chertoff, former head of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush; Paul D. Wolfowitz, Bush’s former deputy secretary of defense; and Robert Kagan, a pro-interventionist neoconservative who has been fundraising for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to Foreign Policy.
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A common attack on Trump during the 2016 presidential contest has been his preference not to demonize Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin. And the letter also attacks Trump for not advocating for an aggressive approach against Russia in Eastern Europe, as well as his suggestions that NATO countries pay what they agreed to pay for participation in NATO security operations.
“On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian leadership, while outlining policies that read like a Kremlin wish list,” the letter says. “He has claimed that Putin would never invade Ukraine, suggested permanently ceding Crimea to Russia, and placed conditions on upholding our obligation to protect our NATO allies.”
The letter was penned only six days after Newsweek published a story written by a pro-Clinton pundit that suggested Trump's business ties could corrupt his presidency.