The Associated Press revealed on Monday that a Donald Trump Jr. secret business partner who helped raise millions of dollars for his father’s 2016 presidential campaign has had special access to pitch business deals to top government officials since the election.
Records obtained by the news agency show that the president’s eldest son and Texas hedge fund manager Gentry Beach have been involved in business deals together dating back to the mid-2000s and recently formed a company — Future Venture LLC — despite past claims by Trump both men that they were just friends.
With Trump Jr’s help, Beach and an Iraqi-American businessman met with met with top national security officials in the last year and pitched a proposal to curb sanctions in Venezuela and open up business for U.S. companies there, the AP reported.
The Trump Organization said in a statement that Trump Jr. hasn’t played a role arranging meetings with “anyone at the White House or any other government agency.”
Beach told the AP in a statement that he never used his relationship with Trump Jr. to try and influence the government.
A Trump Organization attorney acknowledged that Trump Jr. had business relations with Beach in the past, but pointed the AP to a previously released statement that said their relationship was “strictly personal.”
The Trump administration has drawn scrutiny from watchdog groups since President Trump took office over concerns that the president is using the presidency to enrich himself and his family.