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00:00:00
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APPLAUSE
>> The latest controversy over President Donald Trump's many business dealings centering around this lavish New York City hotel and condo, and a pile of public pension money. The Trump Organization part of the President's business empire now run by his two older sons manages this upscale building bearing his name.
00:00:21
But records seen by Reuters show that public pension funds representing more than 5 million state and city employees are invested in real estate fund that owns the property. That's a potential violation of an obscure clause in the US constitution. As Reuters national correspondent Julia Hart explains.>> Article II of the US Constitution specifically prohibits the President from receiving any emolument, which is basically any payment other than his salary, from the United States, or from any of the United States.
00:00:55
And when public pension funds or any other state investment fund is invested in a business that benefits the President financially, that creates a payment chain that many ethics and constitutional law experts say could put the President at risk of violating the Constitution.>> How did this potential ethics violation come to be?
00:01:16
A decade ago state-run retirement funds in seven states, stretching from California to New York, for public workers like police officers, teachers and even law makers, invested in a real estate fund. Years later, before anyone knew Trump would move into the White House, that fund acquired the bankrupt Trump SoHo property in a foreclosure auction.
00:01:36
And according to New York State hotel records, Trump's company now gets its management fee from the fund.>> And the real estate fund, which is the owner of the hotel, also now shares 5.75% of the hotel's operating revenues with the management company owned by the President. Records reveal that nearly all of the more than $3 million income in 2015 for the Trump International Hotel Management LLC came from this one property.
00:02:06
Some constitutional experts say President Trump should divest to avoid a constitutional conflict. But others are not so sure. They point to his victory in holding on to an even more lucrative property. The new Trump Hotel, located just blocks away from the White House.