Donald Trump failed to disclose a $19.8m loan from a company with historical ties to North Korea, while he was the US president, according to a new report.
Documents obtained by the New York attorney general, and reported by Forbes, on Sunday indicate a previously unreported loan owed by Trump to Daewoo, the South Korean conglomerate.
Daewoo was the only South Korean company allowed to operate a business in North Korea during the mid-1990s.
Forbes revealed that Trump’s relationship with Daewoo is at least 25 years old. At one point, Daewoo partnered with Trump on a development project near the United Nations headquarters in New York City, Trump World Tower.
Trump and Daewoo continued to do business together, including using Trump’s name on six South Korea-based properties from 1999 to 2007, according to the magazine.
The outlet reports that the debt in question “stems from an agreement Trump struck to share some of his licensing fees with Daewoo”.
According to documents reviewed by Forbes, the $19.8m balance remained the same from 2011 to 2016. Five months into Trump’s presidency, the balance dropped to $4.3m, according to paperwork that showcased Trump’s finances as of 30 June 2017.
Soon after, “Daewoo was bought out of its position on July 5, 2017,” the documents said, without disclosing who satisfied the debt.
Forbes reports that even though the loan was reported on the Trump Organization’s internal documents, it was not disclosed on the former president’s public financial disclosure reports. Under disclosure laws, Trump was required to submit the documents to federal officials during his presidential campaign and after he became president.
In 2016, Trump’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, said that Trump had disclosed all debts related to companies that Trump had a 100% stake in.
Despite the apparent gap in disclosures, Trump may not have violated any laws, though the existence of the debt still could have posed a conflict of interest.
While president, Trump bragged about his relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un, saying in 2018: “He likes me, I like him. We get along” and that “we fell in love”.
The two leaders met in person, but the relationship came to nought.
Meanwhile, on Monday, jurors began deliberating in the Trump Organization tax fraud trial in New York, in which the company is accused of operating a criminal scheme that allegedly involved fraud and tax evasion.