Washington – He is the head of a business empire and now he’s America’s next president. By combining these two roles, billionaire Donald Trump could face conflicts of interest of an scale unprecedented in US political history.

The Republican elected to the White House on Tuesday made his fortune by building a network of hotels, office towers and luxury apartment buildings as the head of the Trump Organisation.

His real estate empire is primarily located in the United States, but also extends to countries such as South Korea and Turkey. Managing political relations with such US allies while president risks creating a curious mix of competing goals.

The Trump Organisation is not publicly traded, so many of its activities are closed to scrutiny. But US media have reported it has financial ties with people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump raised Putin during his campaign.

“For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia,” Trump tweeted in July.

The potential for conflicts of interest from Trump’s business activities are not limited to countries like Russia. According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump has received $2.5 billion in loans from Deutsche Bank since 1998.

But US regulators are currently in negotiations with the German bank over imposing a possibly multi-billion-dollar fine for its role in the 2008 financial crisis. This raises questions about how the Trump administration will react if it inherits the case, and whether the new president’s business interests will be considered

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