Report: Spending by Trump in Cuba Might Hurt Florida Chances
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday faced intense scrutiny from allegations he had knowingly violated the embargo by the U.S. against Cuba during the 1990s, which if true, could hurt him amongst the Cuban Americans in Florida an important state in the presidential race.
Newsweek published a story that said a company owned by Trump spent up to $68,000 on a trip exploring possibilities for business in Cuba during 1998, which would be a violation of the strict U.S. embargo that at that time was in place.
A spokesperson for Trump Kellyanne Conway said in an interview on television Wednesday that the GOP candidate had spent money in Cuba exploring possible business ventures, but she later said that she had not said he broke any law or violated the Cuba embargo.
Trump denied those allegations during a Thursday interview while in New Hampshire, where he was campaigning and looked to discredit the Newsweek reporter who was behind the story.
Trump said he never did any deal in Cuba nor did he do anything in the Caribbean Island nation. However, he did say the reporter had a very bad reputation.
This report could be a significant liability to Trump politically amongst the Florida Cuban Americans. Florida remains an important battleground state in Trump’s battle to win the White House against Hillary Clinton.
Both candidates are in a deadlock in Florida polls, and this new issue could cause the older Cuban Americans some great concern across the state.
Those particular voters are 100% behind the embargo and expressed disdain for the White House’s decision to open up new relations with the Caribbean Island nation.
A conservative strategist based in Florida opposed to the GOP candidate said it is always a bad thing when voters feel they have been played and find out a candidate they currently support has been hypocritical on a particular issue that carries such emotion, as does the Cuba embargo.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio a former challenger in the primary of Trump, who is also running for reelection, urged Trump’s campaign to address the questions over the report but did say he would not make a further comment until he had more information about the alleged spending.
The article, said Rubio, makes troubling and very serious allegations and he added he would reserve judgment until he knew all the facts.