FBI counterintelligence investigators are taking a close look at the negotiations and financing of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, Canada, former and current U.S. officials told CNN.
The Trump Organization does not own the hoteld but receives licensing and marketing fees from the property. President Trump's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump had a key role in launching the deal with the hotel's developer, Joo Kim Tiah, in 2013, and the property opened in February 2017. Tiah is from one of the wealthiest families in Malaysia, and runs its Canada-based development company, Holborn Group. Per President Trump's financial disclosure form from June, the Trump Organization made more than $5 million in royalties and $21,500 in management fees from the hotel.
It's not clear why FBI investigators are looking at this deal, but it might be because it's one of just a handful of Trump-branded properties that have opened since Trump's inauguration, CNN reports. While doing background checks for security clearances, the FBI looks into foreign contacts and business deals to see if a person is vulnerable to pressure or blackmail, and this may be what's standing in Trump's way of getting full security clearance. A spokesman for Ivanka Trump's ethics counsel told CNN they are "wrong that any hurdle, obstacle, concern, red flag, or problem has been raised with respect to Ms. Trump or her clearance application." Catherine Garcia