Citing Cuba report, Clinton says Trump puts 'business interests' ahead of U.S. 'laws and values'

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Citing a Newsweek story that suggests Donald Trump allegedly violated the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, Hillary Clinton said Trump "puts his personal and business interests ahead of the laws and values and policies of the United States of America."

While investigating the story, published Thursday, Newsweek interviewed former executives of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts and looked at court filings and company records. They found that in 1998, Trump wanted to get into the Cuban market, and sent a consulting firm to Havana on its behalf to find any business opportunities. The company allegedly spent at least $68,000 in Cuba, without U.S. permission, and Newsweek says they made it appear as though the trip was connected to a Catholic charity. In 1999, Trump wrote in a Miami Herald column that he refused to do business in Cuba because "it would place me directly at odds with the longstanding U.S. policy of isolating Fidel Castro. I had a choice to make: huge profits or human rights. For me, it was a no-brainer."

Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said on Thursday the money was never paid, giving the only statement so far from the Trump camp, the BBC reports. The Cuban-American vote in Florida is huge, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has endorsed Trump, told an ESPN/ABC podcast he hopes "the Trump campaign is going to come forward and answer some questions about this, because if what the article says is true — and I'm not saying that it is, we don't know with 100 percent certainty — I'd be deeply concerned about it."

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