FBI Counterintelligence Officials Probing Ivanka Trump Business Deal

FBI Counterintelligence Officials Probing Ivanka Trump Business Deal

USA counterintelligence officials are scrutinizing one of Ivanka Trump's global business deals involving Tiah Joo Kim, scion of one of Malaysia's richest families.

A current and former US official said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into negotiations and financing surrounding Trump International Hotel and tower in Vancouver.

It was not clear what aspects of the deal investigators are looking into, the news outlet reported.

Ivanka Trump is seeking a full security clearance in her role as an adviser to her father.

A spokesperson for Ivanka Trump denied to CNN that there is any obstacle to Ivanka Trump obtaining a security clearance.

At the time, Ivanka Trump's involvement in the Vancouver property was described as a hands-on role in its interior design.

Separately, the White House announced Wednesday that Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of the president's most trusted aides and former staffer for Ivanka Trump, was resigning. According to reports, the fact that it was one of the significant Trump family projects to have been inaugurated after the president took office could be one of the reason behind FBI's interest.

Protestors gather outside at the front of the Trump International Tower & Hotel during the official opening on February 28, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada.

Ivanka and Joo Kim worked closely together on the Vancouver property, according to CNN. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump were on hand for the opening ceremonies of the hotel exactly one year ago.

Her husband Jared Kushner notably had his security clearance downgraded this week, while a Washington Post report detailed how officials from at least four countries discussed how they could take advantage of his business dealings and lack of foreign policy experience.

The Trump Organization does not own the building in Vancouver - as is the case in numerous Trump projects, the name Trump is licensed to the actual developer, in this case Malaysian billionaire Joo Kim Tiah.

But it is being made hard, CNN reported, by "the complexity of the Trump Organization's business deals, which often rely on global financing and buyers". It features a trademarked Ivanka Trump spa.

Ivanka played a key role in the $360 million project, which was backed by the Canadian-based development company Holborn Group.

Tiah says his initial pitch to the Trump Organization was quite similar to what viewers would see in The Apprentice.

Executive vice president and chief legal officer for the Trump organization Alan Garten told the outlet the company has only been involved with brand licensing, and not financing or sale of units. "In that meeting, it was clearly just me and Ivanka talking about the project".

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