Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday hammered President Trump over a new report that he has an undisclosed bank account in China, calling it a serious “national security issue” since the government in Beijing is heavily involved in the country's financial industry.
“Again, we mentioned the state involvement of banks in China. They can watch the flow of money there and perhaps have some, shall we say, sway over the person who's taking money or putting money into that account. So it is a national security issue,” Pelosi said during an appearance on MSNBC.
“Shame on the president that he has a bank account in China," she added.
The Speaker said she is sure more information will trickle out about Trump’s Chinese bank account before the election. And she said the public would have known about it sooner if Trump had disclosed his tax returns.
“But the fact is … what is the source of those funds, and what is the obligation of them? And that's a national security matter,” she said
The report in The New York Times late Tuesday revealed that Trump has bank accounts in three foreign countries: China, Britain and Ireland. None were listed on his public financial disclosures. The Chinese account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management LLC, which tax records obtained by the Times showed paid $188,561 in taxes in China from 2013 to 2015.
A lawyer for the Trump Organization told the Times that the company had opened the account to pay local taxes related to efforts to do business in China.
“No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive,” lawyer Alan Garten told the newspaper. “Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose.”
The revelation comes as the Trump campaign and the president's allies on Capitol Hill have been trying to paint Democratic nominee Joe Biden as soft on China. Republicans have also sought to blame China for the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 220,000 Americans and left millions unemployed.
In her interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Pelosi said Trump’s Chinese bank account was yet another example of the president being vulnerable on an issue that he uses to attack his political enemies.
“Well, this is news to all of us, but it isn’t shocking,” Pelosi said, “because the president has always been projecting his own shortcomings, or his own exposure, his own vulnerability on others besides projecting on to the Bidens' connection to China, where he has the connection to China. And my concern is not just about who he owes money to, but where he's going to get the money to pay it back.”