0826 GMT December 11, 2018
The New York businessman shuttered the companies days after winning his historic face-off with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, The Associated Press reported Friday, citing corporate registration data in the US state of Delaware.
In the run-up to the election, Trump had registered eight companies with Jeddah, the name of a Saudi city, in their name, according to the report.
Half of those were closed within months and the rest were dissolved a week after the election.
Alan Garten, the Trump Organization's general counsel, said the closures were part of a routine “housecleaning” and the Republican president-elect had no more business activities in Saudi Arabia.
Trump, a billionaire real estate magnate, has been under pressure to prove that his business interests would not interfere with his new job as America’s 45th president.
The former reality TV start has announced that he would hand over his businesses “in total” to his children, who remain close advisers to him. Trump would lay down his plan for the transition in a news conference on December 15.
Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, indicated last year that they were considering building hotels and resorts in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
Trump serves as an executive of more than 500 companies specializing in everything from real estate to beauty queens, casinos and steaks.
It was revealed in early September that Trump had made millions of dollars from his deals with Saudi Arabia, which included leasing an apartment to former al-Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden’s half-brother.
According to The New York Daily News, Saudis paid Trump $4.5 million in June 2001, and bought the 45th floor of the real estate mogul’s Trump World Tower in Manhattan.
Shafiq bin Laden had lived in Trump Tower, using an $8,500 security deposit to spend four months in one of the skyscraper’s apartments in 1986.
Trump had told Fox News before the election that he would not receive money from Saudis; a stark U-turn from his last year claims that he and Saudis get along “great.”
“Saudi Arabia… and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me,” Trump said in Mobile, Alabama.
“They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much,” he added.