October 25, 2019
Angela Tanoesoedibjo, the daughter of President Trump’s Indonesian business partner, was appointed today to serve as Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy in the Indonesian government. The appointment puts President Trump in business with the immediate family member of a foreign official. In addition, since Tanoesoedibjo’s position in government has to do with tourism, it could result in her making decisions that affect the two Trump-branded resorts being developed in Indonesia.
Eric Trump recently claimed, “When my father became commander in chief of this country, we got out of all international business.” In fact, the Trump Organization, which the president still owns and profits from, continues to draw revenue from numerous businesses overseas, including two Trump-branded resorts in Indonesia.
These resorts may be some of the most problematic in terms of conflicts of interest in the president’s portfolio. A construction firm partially owned by the South Korean and Saudi governments is one of the contractors working on the large development of which the Trump resort is a part in Lido. In August, Don Jr. traveled to Indonesia for a pre-launch event that was attended by two high-level Indonesian officials, as well as Angela Tanoesoedibjo.
Earlier this summer, Indonesian news outlets reported that President Joko Widodo was planning to recruit Angela, whose father, Hary Tanoesoedibjo, is Trump’s business partner, to his administration. President Widodo reportedly asked Angela to use her new position to help promote new tourist destinations being developed all over the country. This summer, he met with Hary Tanoesoedibjo to discuss new developments.
President Trump also has ties through his businesses to government officials in Argentina, the Philippines, and other countries, but this appears to be the first known example of someone with such a close connection to Trump’s business being appointed to a government position after Trump took office. By choosing Angela Tanoesoedibjo to join his administration, President Widodo gets something other candidates for the position can’t offer: a link to the Trump Administration through the president’s businesses.