The campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton seized the moment on a new report alleging that Donald Trump explored business opportunities in Cuba in the late 1990s, in an apparent violation of the U.S. trade embargo.
Clinton accused Trump of acting against U.S. interests by defying the sanctions in the past, suggesting that “his personal and business interests ahead of the laws and the values and the policies of the United States of America.”
According to a Newsweek report, the work was done by a consulting firm called Seven Arrows on behalf of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc., Trump’s publicly traded casino company. The magazine said Trump reimbursed the consulting firm for $68,000 of business expenses for its Cuba work — even though neither Trump nor the firm had sought a federal government waiver that would have allowed them to pursue such activities.
Clinton told reporters aboard her plane that Trump appeared “to violate U.S. law, certainly flout American foreign policy, and he has consistently misled people in responding to questions about whether he was attempting to do business in Cuba.”
She reiterated that she supported President Barack Obama’s decision to re-open ties with Cuba while she was secretary of state and will continue to do so if she becomes president. However, she said that the report shows that Trump put himself first.
“This latest report shows once again that Trump will always put his own business interest ahead of the national interest – and has no trouble lying about it,” the Clinton campaign said in a statement.
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Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said in an interview early Thursday that “they paid money in 1998,” but Trump ended up not investing on the communist island.
“I know we’re not supposed to talk about years ago when it comes to the Clintons, but with Trump there is no statute of limitations,” Conway added.
Fox News’ Tamara Gitt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.