White House Chief of Staff dodges question on Trump’s secret Chinese bank account

Louise Hall
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to the media at the White House in Washington, DC (EPA)
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to the media at the White House in Washington, DC (EPA)

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has dodged questioning on Donald Trump’s previously unknown Chinese bank account, insisting that Joe Biden has “more of a connection” with the country.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr Meadows was asked: “Why does the president have a bank account in China?"

The question comes following a report by The New York Times that Mr Trump maintains a previously undeclared Chinese bank account and has been unsuccessfully pursuing major business deals in China for more than a decade.

Seemingly deflecting the question, Mr Meadows shifted the focus to Mr Biden, insisting that he had more of a connection with China than Mr Trump.

“Listen I read about that as well,” he said. “I can tell you this in terms of business people, where their accounts are and where they do business, there's more of a Joe Biden-China connection than there is a president Donald Trump-China connection.”

“A good investigative journalist would be looking at that more so," he added. "I read The New York Times story … I don’t know about you but I’ve had a number of bank accounts."

The report comes as part of a series of analyses of Mr Trump’s tax records by TheTimes. One analysis revealed that Mr Trump paid just $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017.

“Whether they exist or not I don’t know I haven’t talked to the president about that, normally those are more operational for the region,” Mr Meadows added.

According to the newspaper’s most recent report, the Chinese account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management and paid $188,561 in taxes in the country from 2013 to 2015 and the president did not include the Chinese account in public financial disclosures.

Trump Organisation lawyer Alan Garten told The Times that Mr Trump’s company maintains a bank account in China, but refused to identify the bank.

The president and his administration have frequently made unsubstantiated accusations against Democratic rival, Mr Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden, regarding corrupt dealings with China.

The Times’ report comes amidst the final weeks of the 2020 US election, where Mr Trump will battle Mr Biden for the presidency on 3 November.

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