Organizers of a conference for business leaders in India made a last minute change to Donald Trump Jr.’s public remarks’ title in an effort to distance him from any political activities.
Up until Wednesday evening, the agenda of the event suggested that the president’s son would use the session titled “Reshaping Indo-Pacific Ties: The New Era of Cooperation” to talk about geopolitics. However, following questions as to whether Trump Jr. was mixing politics with private business endeavors, the title was altered to “Fireside Chat with Donald Trump Jr., Executive Vice President, The Trump Organization.”
According to the summit’s agenda, among the speakers are also Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi, as well as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
President Donald Trump’s son is traveling to India in order to sell Trump-branded condos there, which has raised concerns that he might be crossing ethical lines and has prompted administrator critics to question whether taxpayers are paying for special services while Trump Jr. travels for business.
The State Department claims he was traveling to India as a private citizen.
India is the Trump Organization’s biggest market outside the U.S. and the company is expected to make a large profit if condos sell well and for high prices. When Trump Jr. arrived in India earlier this week, national newspaper ads encouraged buyers to sign up early for Trump-branded condos in Gurgaon. The promotion promised “a conversation and dinner” with the president’s son which sparked a backlash from ethics watchdogs who are concerned Trump’s family is trying to promote U.S. policy.
“These advertisements brazenly suggest that people can purchase access to the son of the President of the United States,” said Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “It is an example both of the President and his family using his office to enrich themselves and of an instance where the President’s decision-making may end up being influenced by those who support his businesses,” he added.
The President’s eldest son admitted it’s hard to steer clear of politics.
“Obviously, the business responsibility is a great one and even though I’m not in the administration, politics becomes a part of it because I believe in what my father’s doing, and he is certainly up against a lot of adversity,” Trump Jr. said.