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Arab American Businessman Named to Trump's Economic Advising Council

posted on: Aug 8, 2016

Arab American Businessman Named to Trump's Economic Advising Council

BY: Andrew Hansen/Contributing Writer 

With only three months until the Presidential Election, Republican Nominee Donald Trump has confronted several obstacles confronting his campaign. This week’s Trump controversy comes from the naming of his economic advisory council, which is comprised of 13 men who have contributed heavily to his campaign.

Being referred to as a questionable decision by Trump’s critics, many feel that the nominee’s choices of who will serve on his economic team may be sexist and self-serving. Some Americans are wondering if Trump believes these people could actually have a positive impact on the economy, or if he is simply including them to generate business opportunities between himself and the appointees.

Out of the 13 men that Trump named to his economic council, seven have donated heavily to his campaign. The remaining 6 have a history of being directly involved with former Republican Presidents, such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Like Trump, they all have considerable influence on Wall Street and even the American economy.

Yet, there are a few more interesting aspects of the demographics of Trump’s economic council, some negative, some positive, and some just outright whimsical.

First, not a single woman was elected to Trump’s council. The 13 members of Trump’s appointed economic team are all men, a demographic that has brought scrutiny from women’s rights activists and Democrats alike, who are labeling the decision as sexist.

Second, five out of the thirteen men appointed to the council are named Steve! Steve Roth, Stephen Moore, Steven Mnuchin, Stephen Feinberg, and Stephen Miller have all been appointed to the council. This could make assigning tasks a bit difficult from Trump, as Americans can expect more than a few name mix-ups!

Third, Trump has named Tom Barrack to the economic advisory council, a Lebanese American businessman, former personal lawyer for Richard Nixon, and leading member in the Reagan Administration. While Barrack is also under fire for raising millions of dollars for a pro-Trump super PAC called Rebuilding America Now, he has had a history of strong investment in the Republican Party.

Barrack is proud to be a Republican and an Arab American, and has stuck to his decision to endorse Trump. At the recent Republican National Convention, Barrack spoke very highly of his long-time friend during a short, yet inspiring speech.

However, this appointment has brought controversy to the Trump campaign because Barrack recently backed out of an infamous business deal with Trump to convert the old United States Post Office in Washington, DC. into a new luxury hotel. While Trump has received both heavy praise and condemnation for choosing to build this new hotel against the wishes of many DC officials, Barrack’s exit of the business deal may be signaling some disagreements over financing with Trump that could tie into his campaign.

Barrack’s company Colony Capital officially withdrew from the project after Trump’s timeline of completing the hotel became too unstable for their investments. Audiences are wondering if this will have an impact in Barrack’s role as an economic advisor to Trump.

Although relations between the two men seem to be cordial, nervous Republicans and anxious critics will have to see how Trump’s arrangement of economic advisors plays out.