President Trump has maintained a bank account in China for years, pursuing hotel deals and other business projects in the region, according to a report on Wednesday.
The bank account is maintained by Trump International Hotels Management LLC and paid $ 188,561 in taxes in China from 2013 to 2015, the New York Times cited an analysis of the president’s tax records. China, Britain and Ireland are the only countries outside the United States where Trump maintains a bank account.
Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten told the Times that the bank account was opened for the purpose of paying local taxes as the company “attempted to explore the potential of hotel deals in Asia.” It is not clear which account the Chinese bank holds.
“No deal, transaction or other business activity ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive,” Garten said. “Although the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose.”
The existence of the bank account came to light as Trump and his campaign launched an attack on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden over the foreign business dealings of his son Hunter. Trump has referred to the Biden family as a “criminal enterprise” in recent campaign stops.
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In response to the report, Eric Trump, who served as executive vice president at The Trump Organization, accused the media of trying to divert public attention from questions about Biden’s behavior.
“The media is doing everything to divert attention from the alleged criminal activity of the Biden family,” Eric Trump said in a statement. “It’s quite simple – when my father became president of the United States, we stepped away from international business. When Hunter Biden’s father became vice president, he ventured into international business.”
According to the New York Times, Trump’s tax records showed investment of at least $ 192,000 in five companies pursuing business deals in China.
Critics accused Hunter Biden of leveraging his father’s influence during the Obama administration to enrich himself. The email, taken from a laptop that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden, detailed his alleged business dealings with colleagues in China and Ukraine.
Joe Biden has denied that he or his son engaged in any wrongdoing, saying during the first presidential debate last month that the allegations were “grossly maligned.” Biden’s own tax records did not reveal any personal business interests in China.
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Since Trump took office, he has taken a tough stance on economic policy towards China, imposing economic tariffs on Beijing resulting in a protracted trade war. The president has repeatedly blamed China for the global economic downturn during the coronovirus epidemic, often called the COVID-19 “China Virus”.
The president’s tax history has faced continued scrutiny since he first announced plans to run for office in 2015. The New York Times previously reported that Trump paid just $ 750 in federal income tax in 2016.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.