Kurt Eichenwald published an article in Newsweek today that goes into great detail over business dealings by Donald Trump that may have violated the United States embargo against Cuba back in 1998:
A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in Communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.
Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corp. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company—then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts—how to make it appear legal by linking it after the fact to a charitable effort.
The payment by Trump Hotels came just before the New York business mogul launched his first bid for the White House, seeking the nomination of the Reform Party. On his first day of the campaign, he traveled to Miami, where he spoke to a group of Cuban-Americans, a critical voting bloc in the swing state. Trump vowed to maintain the embargo and never spend his or his companies’ money in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power.
During his current run as the Republican nominee for President, Trump has bashed President Obama over his reduced sanctions against Cuba, so this news is just another example of Trump doing one thing while telling his supporters another, not to mention shining the light once again on his shady business and "charitable" dealings. The revelations will no doubt hurt his support among Cuban-Americans who favor what Trump has told them his views are versus his alleged violation of the embargo.
Meanwhile, Trump isn't the only one who has bashed the President over his stance on Cuba. Marco Rubio has been blatantly attacking him every chance he gets. So one would think that a violation of the embargo by the man he supports as President, Donald Trump, would be a deal breaker for that support.
Well, apparently one would be wrong to think that. Because upon hearing the news today, Rubio said he "was troubled" by the allegations. However, he went on to say this:
“The article makes some very serious and troubling allegations,” he [Rubio] said in a campaign statement. “I will reserve judgment until we know all the facts and Donald has been given the opportunity to respond.”
How considerate of Rubio to give a documented serial liar who conducts shady business deals and funnels money through his charitable foundations the benefit of the doubt when yet another revelation happens to collide with an issue Rubio has never backed down on and has constantly criticized the President over. But he'll reserve judgment until said Donald has a chance to respond?
What, pray tell, does Rubio think Trump's response will be? Something along the lines of "Yes, guilty as charged. It was totally a violation and I was wrong to do it while telling voters my views were the complete opposite of my actions?"
Of course he won't respond that way. We'll be lucky if he responds at all given his history over facts like these coming out, now on almost a daily basis. His campaign manager tried to respond today, but in doing so she appeared to accidentally admit he did what was alleged in the Newsweek article.
What say you now, Rubio?
I'm guessing Rubio's response above was the first, and the last we'll hear from him on the subject.
Because even after Trump humiliated "Little Marco" during the primaries by mocking his repetitive "buffering" during debates and his never-ending thirst, even after all the proven lies Trump's told, after all the shady business and foundation dealings and refusing to release his taxes, after his cavalier attitude for revenge and the use of nuclear weapons, after every obnoxious and disqualifying thing Trump's said about women, minorities, and on and on, Rubio has stood by Trump and hopes to help him win the highest office in the land. Even though Rubio once called him a "con artist" who was unfit for the office, but once also claimed Trump "would improve" someday, (and how's that going?) he still stands by him.
Now we arrive at the possibility that Trump crossed the line on one of the issues that Rubio has never flip-flopped on and takes a hard line on himself, and Rubio's response is to give him the benefit of the doubt?
That may work for Rubio, but a lot of voters will no doubt see it very, very differently.