US President-elect Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that he had recently turned down a $2bn deal with Dubai developer Damac Properties in a bid to distance himself from his business empire.
Trump, who will be sworn in on January 20, confirmed that his business would be run by his sons Don and Eric and CFO Allen Weisselberg.
Speaking in his first press briefing since July, Trump stressed that there was no conflict of interest with his work.
“Over the weekend, I was offered $2bn to do a deal in Dubai with a very, very, very amazing man, a great, great developer from the Middle East — Hussain, Damac, a friend of mine, great guy — and was offered $2bn to do a deal in Dubai, a number of deals. And I turned it down.
“I didn’t have to turn it down, because as you know I have a no conflict situation because I’m President.”
Damac later confirmed to media that the discussions did take place between Damac chairman Hussain Sajwani and Trump, but that the proposals, for various property deals, were declined by the Trump Organisation.
Earlier this year, Sajwani said that he was interested in expanding business ties between the two firms, which currently includes a partnership for an 18-hole championship golf course at the $6bn Akoya development.
In an interview with NBC News, Sajwani said: “All his three children are very much involved, and I think under their leadership we will have no issue in expanding and growing and maintaining our business relation.”
The billionaire also highlighted close ties between his wife and Trump’s daughter Ivanka suggesting the two were “good friends”.
“They send emails. She’s been here to my house. We’ve been in New York having lunch and dinners with them regularly. And, you know, you enjoy working with somebody — it’s not only cold business relation.”