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Trump-tied businessmen met NSC officials, Bannon over Venezuela sanctions, sources say (STA BREAKING NEWS and ARCHIVES)

by Theresa @, Thursday, April 20, 2017, 23:21 @ Theresa

Five days before the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a pair of American businessmen with ties to President Donald Trump's family attended a series of previously unreported meetings at the White House with the aim of convincing the United States to lift sanctions against Venezuela, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

Mic reviewed documents indicating the businessmen were Gentry Beach, a billionaire Dallas financier, and Wadie Habboush, an international investor. Both men have ties to Donald Trump Jr., but Beach is particularly close: He is a longtime friend of the president's son and was a major Trump campaign fundraiser.

Government ethics lawyers and policymakers who served in recent Democratic and Republican administrations say meetings between White House national security officials and campaign fundraisers over foreign policy violate NSC protocol and raise serious ethical concerns.

"If this account is true, it raises serious questions about the conduct of foreign policy by the Trump administration," said Mark Feierstein, who served on the National Security Council during the Obama administration as senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs. "Those meetings never should have taken place at any level, let alone with senior officials in the West Wing."

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