NEW DELHI (AP) — Want an evening out in India with Donald Trump Jr.? Sorry, even if you have an extra $39,000, it’s probably too late to buy a “conversation and dinner” with the eldest son of the American president.
For over a week, full-page newspaper ads promised a Feb. 23 night dinner with Trump Jr. to buyers who put down a $39,000 deposit for an apartment in a new Trump project in a New Delhi suburb.
But the money had to be paid, the ads said, before Feb. 22.
Officials at M3M, the Indian company that will build the new Trump complex, did not immediately respond when asked whether late-comers would be allowed for dinner.
Trump Jr., who has run the Trump Organization with his brother Eric since his father took office, arrived in India on Tuesday to promote Trump-brand real estate projects across the country. He is also slated to make a speech about Indo-Pacific relations at a business summit in New Delhi, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
More than 85 apartments, worth Rs. 7 billion ($108 million), have been sold in the yet-to-be-built Trump Towers in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of the Indian capital, said Kalpesh Mehta of Tribeca Developers, Trump Organization’s Indian partner. Apartments in the complex, which is scheduled to be completed by 2023, cost from $775,000 to $1.5 million.
On Feb. 19 alone, the day before Trump Jr. landed in India, buyers scooped up Rs. 1 billion ($15 million) in apartments, Mehta told ET-Now television earlier this week. The station is owned by the Times Group, a sponsor of the Global Business Summit where Trump Jr. will speak.
Media access to Trump Jr. has been limited, with only hand-picked journalists allowed access to events that he attends.
The Trump Organization charges a licensing fee to Indian partners who build the properties under the Trump name. One complex is already open in the central city of Pune, while four others are in varying stages of construction, one each in Mumbai and Kolkata and two in Gurgaon.
All the deals were signed before President Trump took office, but Trump Jr.’s promotional trip has raised ethics concerns.
On Feb. 22, White House spokeswoman Lindsay E. Walters said the Trump administration “takes seriously its obligation to ensure that government resources are not used to provide a private benefit to anyone. Donald Trump Jr. is a private individual and neither the State Department nor the White House has provided any support for this trip beyond coordinating with his Secret Service protection.”
Trump Jr. has made several visits to India over the years and has repeatedly talked of the country’s business opportunities, dismissing criticism that his family-owned business is profiting from his father’s presidency.
“It really discounts the work that my father and myself and my siblings did to build up the business as an international brand,” he told ET-Now.
--AP Writer Stephen Braun contributed to this report from Washington.