The developers behind a Trump Towers project near the Indian capital, Delhi, are offering to fly the first 100 investors in the property to the US to meet Donald Trump Jr, the US president’s eldest son. The promotional materials for the project – the fifth in India to take the Trump name – claim the address is “so powerful, a letter would reach you from any part of the world”. One former White House ethics atrocity described the offer as an ethics atrocity.
The specifics of the meeting with Trump Jr were unclear but the offer was repeated on a news broadcast featured on the developer’s website with the tagline “Buy a flat, meet Trump junior”.
The launch of an “ultra luxury” residential project in Gurgaon, a hub for IT workers south of Delhi, was announced last week announced by two of the Trump Organization’s Indian franchisees, M3M Tribeca Developers.
They claimed to have sold 20 apartments in the two 600ft towers within 24 hours of the launch, in part through boasts of building the “most luxury project in north India”, but also the lure of meeting a member of the US’s first family.
“About an initial 100 buyers will fly to the US where Donald Trump Jr will host them,” Pankaj Bansal, the India director for M3M, told the Press Trust of India.
“Making Donald Jr available to those who can afford it in a foreign land based on purchasing a property is an ethics atrocity,” said Norman L Eisen, who served as a special counsel for ethics in the Barack Obama administration and is the chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group.
“Access to the first family should not be for sale. It’s particularly inappropriate because we know he is in constant communication with his father, so it does create a conduit to attempt to influence the president and one of his closest confidants and family members.”
Crew warned in a report released on Friday that Trump was continuing to profit from his businesses while in office and “in many cases he is profiting as a result of his presidency”.
It cited reports in the Indian media of developers involved with the Trump Organization claiming prices in Trump-branded buildings had grown by up to 18% as a result of his presidency.
Other Trump-branded projects in India include a 23-storey tower in Pune in Maharashtra state, a 75-level building under construction in Mumbai and a residential project under way in Kolkata.
The Trump Organisation has also sold franchisee rights to a second project under construction in Gurgaon.
The company has sold the Indian developers its name and technical assistance but has not directly invested in any of the five sites.
Trump promised the month he won office that he would divest himself of his businesses “in total”, but has left control of his real estate holdings to his sons Donald Jr and Eric – in spite of warnings from ethics lawyers that the arrangement does not sufficiently extinguish potential conflicts of interest.
Trump Jr is expected to visit India as part of the promotional campaign for the Gurgaon towers before March 2018.
The Trump Organisation has been contacted for comment.