Donald Trump will be exposed to bribery, foreign policy conflicts and overall national security concerns due to ties of his principal holding company should he become president, a Newsweek cover story reveals.
The Trump Organization – a privately owned global conglomerate – provides Trump and his family members with hundreds of millions of dollars each year in personal income. However, it is discovered to have business dealings with both "allies and enemies" of the US that cannot easily be severed.
The Newsweek investigation also suggests The Trump Organization has links to those involved in criminal activity, although there is no suggestion that Trump himself or his organisation have had any involvement in illegal dealings.
Newsweek is owned by IBT Media, which runs a host of other titles including International Business Times UK.
But while Trump, or any member of his family, maintains links with the organisation – including an intent to return to the company post-presidency – US foreign policy reportedly risks being compromised by a president with business interests that may conflict with the country's national security.
According to the magazine: "None of Trump's overseas contractual business relationships examined by Newsweek were revealed in his campaign's financial filings with the Federal Election Commission."
Leaving such links in place during a presidential term could leave open the possibility of "legal bribery" by people attempting to use their influence with The Trump Organization to impact US foreign policy – posing questions about who Trump would be loyal to while brokering deals for the country that will conflict with his business interests.
Several companies that have entered into deals with the organisation were also found to have links to, or were owned by, foreign governments – again detailing the potential to influence the president via business.
Many of Trump's business dealings stem from selling his brand to developers who buy the right to use his name on buildings and projects from those in the US to locations such as India, South Korea and Turkey.
And projects in several of those countries have already brought about complications for Trump as a businessman, with a deal struck in Turkey turning sour after the head of the developing group was indicted over fuel smuggling. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggesting Trump's anti-Muslim sentiment should result in his name being removed from an Istanbul building.
Similarly, Trump's rhetoric about banning Muslims from entering the US has reportedly resulted in anger from developers he has partnered with in Arab nations, and from individuals such as Saudi royal Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal – with whom he entered into a Twitter spat.
Trump's reaction to Prince Talal over a business issue, in which he referred to the royal as "dopey" and suggested he wanted to control US politicians with "daddy's money" underline existing concerns – within and outside the GOP – that Trump will find it difficult to adopt a suitably presidential tone when dealing with foreign policy.
The article also raises Trump's praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and worries regarding The Trump Organization's interest in Russia and Ukraine, although no deals have been brokered as yet.
Unlike Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton's familial link to The Clinton Foundation, which has come under intense scrutiny during her campaign, The Trump Organization is a for-profit entity that comes with a set of contractual obligations that Trump cannot easily sever – meaning it is likely he would take those business connections into the White House.
Trump has not yet commented on the Newsweek article, but has criticised The Clinton Foundation with the suggestion that the Clintons were "lining their own pockets".