Too much of the emphasis during this long July 4th weekend focused on America’s fake and phony president and his equally-duplicitous wife.
One can raise serious doubts over whether or not Melania Trump can be declared America’s “first lady.” Her husband, accidental president Donald Trump, appears to share those doubt since he often substitutes his first daughter, Ivanka Trump, as the woman in waiting in presidential events.
We should not forget that Melania came to America from her native Slovenia as “model” who removed her clothes for any photographer willing to pay the price. One of her first “major” jobs came as the woman who stripped down to pose nude in and on then-boyfriend Trump’s private jet.
But Trump married her, helping to circumvent the very immigration laws that he now vows to enforce as president. Melania produced a son and later went on TV at the Republican National Convention and lied about a college degree “with honors” that she never earned in a speech where she cribbed part of the wording from a speech by former first lady Michelle Obama.
On this past week’s July 4th “extravaganza” in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Melania showed up on a sheer white dress that turned transparent in the wet, humid conditions and revealed her only real “assets” — the surgically-enhanced hooters that stood out for all to see.
It wasn’t her first “nip slip” as the wife of a president and we doubt it will be the last.
Such displays are not limited to the presidential wife. Ivanka had a run as a young model who liked to “let it all hang out.” Her father even laughed when shock jock Howard Stern called Ivanka a “great piece of ass” and said, “I know.” That acknowledgment left more than a few tongues wagging about Trump’s relationship with his voluptuous daughter.
Trump commented on Ivanka’s physical appearance on an episode of The Howard Stern Show, singing her praises to the infamously vulgar radio host. “You know who’s one of the great beauties of the world, according to everybody?” Trump asked. “And I helped create her. Ivanka, my daughter, Ivanka. She’s 6 feet tall, she’s got the best body.”
In 2015, Trump told Rolling Stone:
“Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one,” Trump was quoted as saying. “If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father…”
In Touch magazine was preparing to release a lengthy 2011 interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels in which she claimed the president, who she allegedly had a sexual affair with years ago, compared her to his daughter. That detail already has attracted a tremendous amount of attention, and it would be far from the first time a Trump quote about Ivanka has focused on his oldest daughter’s physical appearance.
Appropriate behavior by a father towards his daughter? How about this behavior by a president? Or his wife? Or his daughter?
An ethics watchdog group asked the Justice Department on Friday to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka violated federal conflict-of-interest law by promoting an Opportunity Zone tax break program from which she could potentially benefit.
The complaint from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington follows an Associated Press investigation last month. The AP found that Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House advisers, could benefit from the Opportunity Zones program they pushed that offers tax breaks to developers who invest in downtrodden communities.
AP reported Kushner owns a $25 million to $50 million non-management stake in Cadre, a real estate investment firm which has announced plans to invest in several cities under the Opportunity Zones program. Separately, the couple has interests in at least 13 properties held by Kushner’s family firm that may qualify for the tax breaks because they are in Opportunity Zones in New Jersey, New York and Maryland.
The CREW complaint says that, under federal law, Kushner’s financial interests are considered of value to Ivanka Trump as well.
In a 12-page letter sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said that as a result of the 2017 decision by Ivanka Trump and Kushner to “retain a sprawling portfolio of investments after entering government,” the couple “assumed responsibility for exercising due diligence to avoid participating in any particular matter that directly and predictably affects the interests of the companies they retained.”
Ivanka Trump, Bookbinder wrote, “may have failed to live up to this responsibility.”
Bookbinder told the AP that CREW’s complaint focused on Ivanka Trump because “there is so much public information about her role in the Opportunity Zones program.”
The AP report noted that Ivanka Trump publicly promoted the program and coordinated with its main congressional sponsor, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. President Trump lauded his daughter last February for “pushing this very hard.” Hours after the AP story ran last month, Ivanka Trump tweeted her public support for Opportunity Zones and appeared at a White House event promoting the program.
AP reported that Kushner also backed the program, but had more limited involvement behind the scenes.
A spokesman for Abbe Lowell, the couple’s ethics lawyer, dismissed the CREW complaint as “meritless.” Ivanka Trump “adheres to the ethics advice she has received from counsel about what issues she can work on and those to which she is recused,” said the spokesman, Peter Mirijanian.
The Justice Department declined to comment, a spokeswoman said.
The White House did not provide a response to the complaint. Last month, administration spokesman Hogan Gidley said the White House had “nothing to do with” the designations of the zones.
The zones, which channel where investments are made, were chosen by state governors and agencies and then approved by Treasury Department officials.
Bookbinder said that if the Justice Department looks into the complaint, it would most likely be probed as a civil matter. But he cautioned that the department is “not obligated to tell us what they’re doing.”
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a top White House adviser, sent hundreds of emails about government business from a personal email account last year, The Washington Post reported Monday.
The emails were sent to White House aides, Cabinet members and Ivanka Trump’s assistants, many in violation of public records rules, the paper said. President Donald Trump mercilessly criticized his 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, for using a private email server during her time as secretary of state, labeling her “Crooked Hillary” and saying she belonged in jail.
The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the email use, but a spokesman for Ivanka Trump’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, didn’t dispute the report.
“While transitioning into government… Ms. Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family,” said the spokesman, Peter Mirijanian.
Mirijanian stressed that no classified information was transmitted in the messages, that no emails were deleted and that the emails have since been “retained” in conformity with records laws.
“When concerns were raised in the press 14 months ago, Ms. Trump reviewed and verified her email use with White House Counsel and explained the issue to congressional leaders,” he said.
The discovery was prompted by public records requests from the liberal watchdog group American Oversight. The group’s executive director, Austin Evers, said in a statement that “The president’s family is not above the law,” and he called on Congress to investigate.
“For more than two years, President Trump and senior leaders in Congress have made it very clear that they view the use of personal email servers for government business to be a serious offense that demands investigation and even prosecution, and we expect the same standard will be applied in this case,” he said.
The emails the group uncovered include correspondence between Ivanka Trump and Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Donald Trump met with Republican members of Congress at the White House Wednesday to tell them to back off on attempts to scrap his attempts to help Chinese telecom firm ZTE, claiming his efforts to help the company is part of a “broader geopolitical negotiating strategy.”
Some close to Trump say his claims are just another lie. He really wants to help ZTE to help Chinese president Xi Jinping, who in turn granted a profitable string of trademarks that mean millions in new business for daughter Ivanka.
In question too is Chinese government support of an Indonesian real estate development that will include several Trump-brand properties. The Chinese government issued $500 million in loans to the project just a few days before Trump announced his support for ZTE.
Trump ordered the Commerce Department to water down sanctions and penalties against ZTE right after Ivanka Trump got the trademarks and after the Chinese boss lobbied him for help with ZTE.
David J. Apol, acting director and general counsel for the federal government’s ethic office says Trump’s business dealings “raise serious concerns” but adds that he does not have the power to launch any investigations. Such investigations are the purview of Congress, which is controlled by the party of Trump.
ZTE is also believed to be heavily involved in hacking American government and business operations and was heavily fined and sanctioned by Congress.
The sanctions barred ZTE from buying American products, including semiconductors, for seven years as punishment for violating United States sanctions against Iran and North Korea but Commerce — under orders from Trump — decided to levy a $1 billion fine on the company along with orders to replace senior leadership and install American compliance officers.
Trump also wants to develop real estate properties in China and knows the penalties on ZTE could bring that effort to an unprofitable halt.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, high-ranking GOP leader in the Senate, says lawmakers are willing to compromise.
The House, which marches to any tune Trump issues, has already axed the penalty but the Senate can still leave it in place.
“We came to no conclusion that I could discern,” said Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin. “This type of meeting really isn’t one where you’d think you will really come to any conclusion.”
The decisions will be one where the Senate decides to serve the nation or fatten Trump’s bank account.
Ivanka Trump’s brand continues to win foreign trademarks in China and the Philippines, adding to questions about conflicts of interest at the White House, The Associated Press has found.
On Sunday, China granted the first daughter’s company final approval for its 13th trademark in the last three months, trademark office records
Ivanka Trump’s brand continues to win foreign trademarks in China and the Philippines, adding to questions about conflicts of interest at the White House, The Associated Press has found.
On Sunday, China granted the first daughter’s company final approval for its 13th trademark in the last three months, trademark office records show. Over the same period, the Chinese government has granted Ivanka Trump’s company provisional approval for another eight trademarks, which can be finalized if no objections are raised during a three-month comment period.
Taken together, the trademarks could allow her brand to market a lifetime’s worth of products in China, from baby blankets to coffins, and a host of things in between, including perfume, make-up, bowls, mirrors, furniture, books, coffee, chocolate and honey. Ivanka Trump stepped back from management of her brand and placed its assets in a family-run trust, but she continues to profit from the business.
“Ivanka Trump’s refusal to divest from her business is especially troubling as the Ivanka brand continues to expand its business in foreign countries,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in an email Monday. “It raises significant questions about corruption, as it invites the possibility that she could be benefiting financially from her position and her father’s presidency or that she could be influenced in her policy work by countries’ treatment of her business.”
As Ivanka Trump and her father have built their global brands, largely through licensing deals, they have pursued trademarks in dozens of countries. Those global trademarks have drawn the attention of ethics lawyers because they are granted by foreign governments and can confer enormous value. Concerns about political influence have been especially sharp in China, where the courts and bureaucracy are designed to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party.
Chinese officials have emphasized that all trademark applications are handled in accordance with the law.
More approvals are likely to come. Online records from China’s trademark office indicate that Ivanka Trump’s company last applied for trademarks — 17 of them — on March 28, 2017, the day before she took on a formal role at the White House. Those records on Monday showed at least 25 Ivanka Trump trademarks pending review, 36 active marks and eight with provisional approval.
The World Intellectual Property Organization’s global brand database also shows that her company, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, won three trademarks in the Philippines after her father took office. Two of them that cover clothing, including lingerie and baby clothes, were filed on Feb. 8, 2017 and registered in June and November. The third, filed on March 1, 2017, covers clothing and footwear and was registered in July.
Companies register for trademarks for a variety of reasons. They can be a sign of corporate ambition, but in many countries, like China, where trademark squatting is rampant, companies also file defensively, to block copycats from grabbing legal rights to a brand’s name. Trademarks are classified by category and may include items that a company does not intend to market. Some trademark lawyers also advise clients to register trademarks for merchandise that is manufactured in China, even if it’s not sold there.
Ivanka Trump does not have a large retail presence in China, but customs records show that the bulk of her company’s U.S. imports are shipped from China.
The brand’s secretive Chinese supply chains have been the subject of some controversy. A year ago Monday, three men working for China Labor Watch, a New York-based non-profit group, were arrested while investigating labor abuses at Ivanka Trump suppliers in China. After thirty days in detention, they were released on bail, but continue to live under police surveillance.
Li Qiang, the group’s founder, said Monday that he hopes bail will be lifted soon and that the case will not go to trial.
Police in Ganzhou, the southeastern Chinese city where the men were detained, could not be reached for comment. The Chinese law firm that handles Ivanka Trump’s intellectual property in China also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Associated Press researcher Fu Ting contributed to this story from Shanghai.
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They spent their first year in Washington as an untouchable White House power couple, commanding expansive portfolios, outlasting rivals and enjoying unmatched access to the president. But Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have undergone a swift and stunning reckoning of late, their powers restricted, their enemies emboldened and their future in the West Wing uncertain.
Kushner, long the second-most powerful man in the West Wing, is under siege. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law has lost influential White House allies. He remains under the shadow of the Russia probe and has seen his business dealings come under renewed scrutiny. He has been stripped of his top security clearance, raising questions how he can successfully advance his ambitious agenda — including achieving Mideast peace, a goal that has eluded presidents for generations.
Kushner’s most powerful patron, the president himself, has wavered recently on whether his daughter and son-in-law belong in the White House anymore.
A frustrated Trump has griped about the wave of bad headlines generated by probes into Kushner’s business dealings and the status of his security clearance, according to two people familiar with the president’s thinking but not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations. The president also has wondered aloud if the couple would be better off returning home to New York.
At the same time, though, Trump has said he believes many of the attacks against Kushner are unfair and has lamented that the couple is going through such a turbulent time, according to the two people close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about Trump’s private comments.
“I think he’s been treated very unfairly,” Trump said late last month. “He’s a high-quality person.”
Kushner’s woes mushroomed in the past month, when accusations of spousal abuse emerged against White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Initially, the resulting firestorm — including questions about how Porter had interim clearance for top-secret information despite red flags in his background — threatened to engulf Chief of Staff John Kelly, the retired Marine hired to bring order to Trump’s chaotic West Wing.
Kelly seemed to stabilize his own standing, in part by ordering a reform of the White House security clearance process. And among senior aides, that change fell the hardest on Kushner, who had been working with interim access to top-secret information. And he was doing that as investigators worked through his family’s complicated real estate dealings and as special counsel Robert Mueller probes Russian connections to the Trump team.
A week ago, Kushner’s security clearance level was downgraded, leaving White House aides to wonder just how many indignities Kushner and Ivanka Trump are willing to suffer. Even if recent events and revelations don’t trigger a departure, they have demonstrated that the West Wing clout of “Javanka,” as the couple is often referred to, is a far cry from what it once was.
Since taking office last year, Kelly has prioritized creating formal lines of authority and decision-making. Kushner resisted efforts to formalize his role — which early in the administration made him something of a shadow secretary of state — and he has grown frustrated with the chief of staff’s attempts to restrict the couple’s access to the president. The couple perceives Kelly’s crackdown on security clearances as a direct shot at them, according to White House aides and outside advisers.
Kelly, in turn, has been angered by what he views as the couple’s freelancing. He blames them for changing Trump’s mind at the last minute and questions what exactly they do all day, according to one White House official and an outside ally. Kushner prevailed in previous power struggles within the White House, including one against former chief strategist Steve Bannon, but allies of the president on the outside openly cheered the power couple’s weakened position.
“Only a son-in-law could withstand this sort of exposure and not be fired,” said Jennifer Palmieri, former communications director for President Barack Obama. “Kushner’s vulnerable and in an accelerated fall from grace. Even though his departure would leave Trump even more isolated, a decision could be made that it’s just not worth it for him to stay.”
Those close to the couple insist the duo has no plans to leave Washington. But a soft landing spot has emerged if they choose to take it.
At a senior staff meeting Wednesday, Kushner spoke about the 2020 campaign at Kelly’s behest, talking up the selection of Brad Parscale to run the campaign, according to an administration official who was not authorized to speak publicly about internal discussions. Kushner has a close relationship with Parscale, whom he recruited to work on the 2016 campaign.
News of Parscale’s appointment was first reported in the Drudge Report, a favored outlet of Kushner’s, in a move that was seen by some in the West Wing as an attempted reminder of Kushner’s clout just hours before his humbling security clearance downgrade became public.
One veteran of the 2016 campaign suggested that there had always been a tentative plan for Kushner to resume a role on the re-election campaign but not this early in the president’s first term.
In a White House populated with attention-seekers, Kushner has been an ascetic, discreet figure. Almost always standing at the periphery in dark business suits, Kushner is rarely heard in public, his impact felt but not seen. His diplomatic trips abroad have either been shrouded in secrecy or conducted with minimal media coverage.
“I am not a person who has sought the spotlight. First in my business and now in public service, I have worked on achieving goals, and have left it to others to work on media and public perception,” Kushner told congressional investigators in a prepared statement last July.
But it is not immediately obvious what he’s achieved. There has been little progress on Mideast peace and relations with Mexico, another top Kushner priority, remain contentious over Trump’s proposed border wall. Kushner’s much ballyhooed project to reinvent the federal government has gained little traction. And questions persist about his family business’s global hunt for cash just a year before a $1.2 billion mortgage on a Manhattan skyscraper must be paid off by the company.
The Kushner Co. says it is in solid financial shape, but skeptics note that the company has been scrambling to raise funds from investors in nations with which Kushner has had government dealings and questions about potential Kushner conflicts of interest have scuttled some efforts.
Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, promotes the administration’s tax overhaul, including a family-friendly tax credit she championed. She continues to talk with lawmakers about paid family leave and recently led the U.S. delegation to the closing ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
But her role has come with unique challenges and calculations. Trump has portrayed herself as an advocate for women and families within the administration, which at times puts her in an awkward position given the allegations against her father and some of his public comments about women.
Trump recently said in an NBC interview that she believes her father’s denials of sexual misconduct, but argued that questions to her on the topic were “pretty inappropriate” — an answer that prompted eyerolls in some quarters of the West Wing yet again.
Associated Press writers Zeke Miller in Washington and Bernard Condon in New York contributed reporting.
Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire and Lucey at http://twitter.com/@catherine_lucey
The former White House strategic adviser for Donald Trump does not mince words when it comes to the president’s daughter, Ivanka.
She’s “dumb as a brick,” Steve Bannon says in the new book from Michael Wolff about the inner workings of the 2016 campaign for president and the White House in the first year of Trump’s president. Shock jock Howard Stern called her a “great piece of ass” and her father agreed.
Other aides say “dumb as a brick” is probably the least of Bannon’s many insults about Ivanka trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
Other members of the staff aren’t fond of the First Daughter either.
“She’s often called her a ‘trashy trollop’ and other terms that should not be repeated,” says a former aide.
Aides said a “private collection” of photos from Ivanka’s modeling days, including ones with nudity and suggestive poses, are passed around.
Some claim Trump’s daughter uses her position “to the max” to push her jewelry and clothing lines that are called “whore bling” and “fucking crap.”
At least one says the Trump daughter is an “ultimate model of rich white trash.”
White House aides aren’t the only ones who think of Ivanka in crude terms and such feelings are not just recent.
In October 2006, when disk jockey Howard Stern called Ivanka “a piece of ass,” her father greed.
Stern first said Ivanka “looks more voluptuous than ever” but Trump corrected her to say: “She actually always been very voluptuous.”
From the show’s transcript:
Trump: “My daughter is beautiful.” Stern: “By the way, your daughter…” Trump: “She’s beautiful.” Stern: “Can I say this? A great piece of ass.” Trump: “Yeah.”
White House aides remember Bannon being in discussion about news reports on the “piece of ass” remarks and one wondered how her father might know that such an assessment was true. “Oh, he knows,” Bannon reportedly said.
In 2013, host Wendy Williams asked Trump and his daughter what they had in common.
Ivanka said “gold and real estate.”
Trump? “Well, I was going to say sex.”
Calls for comment from the White House or Breitbart News, where Bannon is the boss, were not returned today.
Depending on what Alabama voters do next month in the election to replace Jeff Sessions as one of its two Senators, the expansion of child predators and sexual abusers in our government will continue unabated.
Donald Trump, an acknowledged sexual abuser, a man accused by more than 20 women of such abuse along with three claims of rape, including one of a 13-year-old girl, is lending support to Republican sexual abuser Roy Moore, saying he’s denied the charges from women and that’s all he needs to know.
Trump, of course, denies charges of his sexual abuse of women, saying — as he always does — that he and only he tells us the truth — and incredibly blatant falsehood from a man who lies virtually every day of his life.
Fact-checking services that check on claims made by our elected officials rate Trump as the most consistent liar they have every checked, which is about what we would expect from a man who bragged about “grabbing their pussies” and doing “anything I want” to women anytime he wants.
Trump’s mind is so damaged that he agreed, on radio, that his daughter, Ivanka, is “a great piece of ass.”
Forget the clueless cult that supports Trump, no matter what, because they are probably doing the same kind of things behind closed doors. Sexual predators, we often learn, seek out their own kind.
In 1991, Trump — in an interview with Esquire magazine about the media, said: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [they] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
In 2003, he told shock jock Howard Stern that his daughter, Ivanka, had “a great body” and “I created her.”
Ivanka, like her stepmother Melania, was photographed nude more than once as a “model.”
In 2008, he said this about women who he said are attracted to him:
“They’ll walk up, and they’ll flip their top, and they’ll flip their panties.”
In 2013, on Wendy Williams, in her show, asked Trump and Ivanka what they had in common. She said golf and real estate. Trump’s response: “Well, I was going to say sex.”
Donald Trump is a sick man.
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell says he might try to block Moore being seated in the Senate if he wins the election in December.
McConnell, however, does nothing about the sexual predator who lives down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Yes, Trump is a sick pervert…and so are those who support and enable him.
It is no secret that the bulk of Ivanka Trump’s merchandise comes from China. But just which Chinese companies manufacture and export her handbags, shoes and clothes is more secret than ever, an Associated Press investigation has found.
In the months since she took her White House role, public information about the companies importing Ivanka Trump goods to the U.S. has become harder to find. Information that once routinely appeared in private trade tracking data has vanished, leaving the identities of companies involved in 90 percent of shipments unknown. Even less is known about her manufacturers. Trump’s brand, which is still owned by the first daughter and presidential adviser, declined to disclose the information.
The deepening secrecy means it’s unclear who Ivanka Trump’s company is doing business with in China, even as she and her husband, Jared Kushner, have emerged as important conduits for top Chinese officials in Washington. The lack of disclosure makes it difficult to understand whether foreign governments could use business ties with her brand to try to influence the White House — and whether her company stands to profit from foreign government subsidies that can destroy American jobs. Such questions are especially pronounced in China, where state-owned and state-subsidized companies dominate large swaths of commercial activity.
“There should be more transparency, but right now we do not have the legal mechanism to enforce transparency unless Congress requests information through a subpoena,” said Richard Painter, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush, and is part of a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for alleged constitutional violations. “I don’t know how much money she’s making on this and why it’s worth it. I think it’s putting our trade policy in a very awkward situation.”
An AP review of the records that are available about Ivanka Trump’s supply chain found two potential red flags. In one case, a province in eastern China announced the award of export subsidies to a company that shipped thousands of Ivanka Trump handbags between March 2016 and February of this year, Chinese public records show — a possible violation by China of global fair trade rules, trade experts said.
The AP also found that tons of Ivanka Trump clothing were exported from 2013 to 2015 by a company owned by the Chinese government, according to public records and trade data. It is unclear whether the brand is still working with that company, or other state-owned entities. Her brand has pledged to avoid business with state-owned companies now that she’s a White House adviser, but contends that its supply chains are not its direct responsibility.
Ivanka Trump’s brand doesn’t actually make its products directly. Instead, it contracts with licensees who oversee production of her merchandise. In exchange, those licensees pay the brand royalties. The AP asked Ivanka Trump’s brand for a list of its suppliers. The company declined to disclose them. The clothing, footwear and handbag licensees contacted by AP also declined to reveal source factories.
Abigail Klem, president of IT Operations LLC, which manages Ivanka Trump’s brand, said the company does not contract with foreign state-owned companies or benefit from Chinese government subsidies. However, she acknowledged that its licensees might.
“We license the rights to our brand name to licensing companies that have their own supply chains and distribution networks,” Klem said in an email. “The brand receives royalties on sales to wholesalers and would not benefit if a licensee increased its profit margin by obtaining goods at a lower cost,” she added.
But Michael Stone, chairman of Beanstalk, a global brand licensing agency, said lower production costs for licensees would ultimately benefit Ivanka Trump by freeing up money for marketing or lower retail prices, both of which drive sales.
“It gives her a competitive advantage and an indirect benefit to her financially,” Stone said. “The more successful the licensee is the more successful Ivanka Trump is going to be.”
The AP identified companies that sent Ivanka Trump products to the United States by looking at shipment data maintained by ImportGenius and Panjiva Inc., private companies that independently track global trade. Panjiva’s records show that 85 percent of shipments of her goods to the U.S. this year originated in China and Hong Kong, but beyond that, it’s becoming more difficult to map the brand’s global footprint.
The companies that shipped Ivanka Trump merchandise to the U.S. are listed for just five of 57 shipments logged by Panjiva from the end of March, when she officially became a presidential adviser, through mid-September. Panjiva collects data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which did not immediately release the missing data to AP.
While in many cases the manufacturer ships goods directly, merchandise can also be made by one company and shipped by another trading or consolidation company.
There used to be more visibility. Last year, 27 percent of the companies that exported Ivanka Trump merchandise to the U.S. were identified in Panjiva’s records, and back in 2014 a full 95 percent were named. For two of Ivanka Trump’s licensees — G-III Apparel Group Ltd. and Marc Fisher Footwear — the number of shipments appears to plunge in 2015, likely because they “requested to hide” their shipment activity, according to Panjiva records. Neither company responded to AP’s questions.
The brand declined to comment on the growing murkiness of its supply chain.
Chris Rogers, an analyst at Panjiva, said any company can ask customs authorities to redact its information for any reason. About a quarter of companies request anonymity, he said, but the majority don’t mind disclosing who they’re doing business with.
“A lot of companies have said, ‘yes there might be a commercial disadvantage, but we want to be transparent about our supply chain,’” he explained. “‘Why would we want to cover up the fact that we’re working with this particular company?’”
While ethics lawyers may see disclosure as the best antidote to conflict of interest, many brands see it as a tool to keep supply chains scandal-free. Public outcry over sweatshop conditions and worker suicides prompted companies like Nike Inc. and Apple Inc. to disclose the names and addresses of their manufacturers, and a growing number, including Gap Inc., the H&M Group, New Balance Athletics Inc., Adidas AG and Levi Strauss & Co., publicly identify their suppliers.
Ivanka Trump should do the same, said Allen Adamson, founder and CEO of BrandSimple Consulting. “It’s a missed opportunity to lead by example.”
What shipping records do show is that a company called Zhejiang Tongxiang Foreign Trade Group Co. Ltd., a sprawling conglomerate once majority-owned by the Chinese state, sent at least 30 tons of Ivanka Trump handbags to the U.S. between March 2016 and February.
Zhejiang province’s commerce department said in June 2014 that it would help lower export costs for that same company, along with nine other local enterprises, through a special three-year trade promotion program. Among the measures outlined were export insurance subsidies and funding for online trading platforms and international marketing, as well as special funds earmarked for foreign trade companies with large-scale, fast-growing exports.
The value of the subsidies is unclear, as are details about how the directives were implemented, but using subsidies to reduce the price of exports is considered so destructive to fair trade that the World Trade Organization generally bans the practice. Chinese government subsidies hurt American workers but can lower costs for U.S. companies that import made-in-China merchandise, potentially boosting their profits. President Donald Trump has called companies that benefit from foreign government subsidies “cheaters.”
The AP spoke with four trade experts in the United States and China who said the Zhejiang measures appeared to violate World Trade Organization rules. “These are clearly export subsidies,” said Gary Hufbauer, a trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.
Zhejiang province’s Department of Commerce and the Zhejiang Tongxiang Foreign Trade Group declined comment.
The AP also found that from Oct. 2013 to Jan. 2015, Jiangsu High Hope International Group Corp., a conglomerate majority-owned by the Jiangsu provincial government, shipped 45 tons of Ivanka Trump clothing to the U.S., according to records from ImportGenius and Panjiva.
High Hope told AP it had “a small number of business dealings” with Ivanka Trump licensee G-III Apparel, but declined to answer questions about whether the relationship is ongoing.
G-III, which is based in New York City, declined to respond to specific questions but said in a statement that it is “committed to legal compliance and ethical business practices in all of our operations worldwide.” Ivanka Trump licensee Mondani Handbags & Accessories Inc., also headquartered in New York, did not respond to requests for comment.
Ivanka Trump’s brand said it was in the process of reviewing its supply chains with the help of “independent experts whose mission it is to advance human rights” and emphasized that all licensees, manufacturers, subcontractors and suppliers are required to abide by the law, as well as ethical practices set forth in a vendor code of conduct.
The AP asked to see the code of conduct, but the brand declined to share it.
Associated Press researchers Fu Ting in Shanghai and Yu Bing in Beijing contributed to this report.
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Misspell the last name of America’s current inappropriate President and you could end up with “Tramp.”
Trump. Tramp. Not much difference between the two.
When you consider the many inconsistencies that define Donald John Trump, you come up with one realization: Our president is rich white trash.
He lies. He cheats. He robs the American treasury openly, laughing all the way, literally, to the bank.
He refers, with glee, about “grabbing the pussies” of women he claims can’t wait to drop to their knees and service him, assuming — of course — they can actually find anything under that massive belly that overflows his belt like the gut of an overweight great white whale.
Trump likes to party at the Playboy Mansion.
“I met Donald Trump a few times (at the Mansion),” says former Playmate Holly Madison. “It was surreal seeing him as president because I used to see him at parties and run into him. It’s definitely kind of surreal…and weird.”
Trump likes to brag about his sexual exploits and had bragged about cheating on his wives (he’s on his third wife, former nude model Melania). When shock jock Howard Stern called Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a “great piece of ass,” he agreed and said “I’d do her” if she was not his offspring.
In some parts of “poor white trash” parts of the South, where Trump is revered, family trees do not branch. A Southern virgin is sometimes called “any 12-year-old girl who can outrun her kin folk.”
Are we being gross about our current first family? Damn right we are. No decent, polite, language should be used to describe the rich white trash that currently occupies the White House.
Trump tells people he doesn’t like to “go f–k themselves, which means he says it a lot because there’s a lot of folks out there he doesn’t like as well as many who don’t like him. After all, he came to the Presidency in a fluke after a majority of voters — more than four million — voted for the other candidate.
Trump is the embodiment of the old cliche joke that starts with “how do we know he’s lying” and ends with “because his lips are moving.”
He turned that old joke into reality. He lies so often and so blatantly that “fact checking” organizations have trouble keeping up with the myriad of falsehoods.
His wife, the former nude model, may have lied to the federal government in her citizen application because she appears to have worked and without a valid work visa. She did lie, without remorse or apology, when she claimed she had a university degree from the Slovenian college she left before graduating so she could go to America, drop her drawers, pose naked for photographers, and get money for doing so.
Ivanka Trump came to Washington claiming she was “passionate about working women” and said she was going to close the gender wage gap even if it killed her.
She should be careful. Women who indulge in the art of servicing men for money are often called “working women.”
Ivanka, some felt, would be a “moderating influence” on her father’s excesses.
The fact is, the only evidence we have of Ms. Trump’s supposed moderating effects and passion for progressive causes is her word. And, unfortunately for the entire planet, the word of a Trump isn’t worth very much.
And what about the gender gap in the third world countries where slave-labor salaries are the best a women can earn in factories that provide all of the items offered by Ivanka Trump for sale in her “signature” lines of apparel and overpriced fake costume jewelry? Daddy paid more for her “breast enhancements” than those women make in their entire lives.
She also worked as a “model” for a while and showed off her body for photographers.
We’re not surprised that Ivanka got a boob job. Her daddy, a major boob, likes big ones.
Kind of what we have learned to expect from the head tramp named Trump.