Thursday, September 15, 2016

Twenty Questions

After Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald put out the lengthy report on Donald Trump’s business dealings with some really scary people — he wanted to do business with Libyan dictator Qaddafi — Hillary Clinton’s campaign has a few questions.  Twenty, in fact.

I have a question of my own.  If any other candidate had this kind of entangled web of dealings with questionable characters, some who are adversaries in both political and practical world conflicts, would they even be allowed to run for president?

But for the Trump Organization, Qaddafi was not a murdering terrorist; he was a prospect who might bring the company financing and the opportunity to build a resort on the Mediterranean coast of Libya. According to an Arab financier and a former businessman from the North African country, Trump made entreaties to Qaddafi and other members of his government, beginning in 2008, in which he sought deals that would bring cash to the Trump Organization from a sovereign wealth fund called the Libyan Investment Authority. The following year, Trump offered to lease his estate in Westchester County, New York, to Qaddafi; he took Qaddafi’s money but, after local protests, forbade him from staying at his property. (Trump kept the cash.) “I made a lot of money with Qaddafi,” Trump said recently about the Westchester escapade. “He paid me a fortune.”

This makes the Corleone family business look like a lemonade stand.