Although Trump tweeted last month that he has “no financial interests in Saudi Arabia,” he has in the past acknowledged business ties with the kingdom. “Saudi Arabia, I like the Saudis,” he said at a July 2015 campaign rally. “I make a lot of money with them. They buy all sorts of my stuff. All kinds of toys from Trump. They pay me millions and hundreds of millions.” The Associated Press reported that in the 1990s, when Trump was “teetering on personal bankruptcy and scrambling to raise cash,” a billionaire Saudi prince twice closed on multimillion-dollar deals, including one to buy a 282-foot yacht called Princess. More recent business comes through Saudi stays at Trump hotels during his presidency, though PolitiFact reports that the Trump Organization doesn’t appear to own property or invest in the kingdom.
These concerns about Trump’s financial entanglements with Saudi Arabia parallel suspicions about possible financial connections to Russia, which Schiff also promised to investigate, including “whether the Russians have been laundering money through the president’s businesses, and this is the financial hold that the Russians may have. It would certainly explain the otherwise bewildering conduct of the president in Helsinki, many of the president’s pro-Putin comments. It would explain why his sons have said at various times they don’t need money from U.S. banks—they get all the money they need from Russia.”