Ivanka Tweet Thanking Turkey's Erdogan for Attending Istanbul Trump Towers Launch Re-Emerges Amid Syria Controversy

U.S. troops have been withdrawn from positions in northern Syria ahead of an imminent Turkish military operation into the region, which will pit Ankara's troops against America's Kurdish allies who bore the brunt of the coalition operations against ISIS in Syria.

Trump has wanted U.S. troops out of northern and eastern Syria for some time. However, he has remained publicly supportive of the Kurdish authorities there, which have liberated the region from occupying ISIS forces.

But on Sunday, the president abruptly announced that American troops would not stand in the way of a Turkish military offensive against the Kurds, despite earlier suggestions that the U.S. would look out for Kurdish interests.

As the world reacted to America's sudden abandonment of its most trusted and effective local allies, a tweet from Trump's daughter Ivanka resurfaced, detailing a relevant conflict of interest regarding relations with Turkey.

"Thank you Prime Minister Erdogan for joining us yesterday to celebrate the launch of #TrumpTowers Istanbul!" Ivanka wrote in April 2012. The construction—made up of two conjoined towers—is one of seven current Trump Towers locations.

Trump has promised to keep his business empire separate, handing over control of his commercial operations to sons Eric and Donald Jr. for the duration of his time in office. Trump has refused to fully divest from his empire, in what critics have said was a violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause.

Multiple investigations and reports allege that Trump has been personally profiting from the presidency, using the office to bolster income at his resorts, hotels and other businesses. Foreign officials, for example, have been spending huge sums at his properties, in an effort to ingratiate themselves with his administration.

Social media users expressed concern that Trump's businesses interests in Turkey may have prompted, or at least influenced, his decision to allow Erdogan to go ahead with his military offensive.

Ryan Lizza, Politico's chief Washington correspondent explained on Twitter that situations like this "is why presidents divest."

"It is crazy that a president is making national security decisions like the one tonight when he has lucrative business relationships at stake in the country that will benefit," Lizza added.

John Sipher, who spent 28 years working for the CIA, expressed his frustration at Trump's announcement. "At least the Trump Administration is consistent," he said on Twitter. "We are about screwing our allies, partners and friends. Don't trust America, even if you shed blood on their behalf. If you want favors build a Trump tower."

Neither Trump nor his Trump Organization actually own the building. In 2010, Trump gave his permission for the Turkish owners to use his name in exchange for a fee, The New York Times noted. But nonetheless, his name connection with the building is part of his global brand.

Ivanka was involved in the Istanbul project from the start, Business Insider reported. She held discussions with the Trump Organization's business partner for the towers' construction—Mehmet Ali Yalcindag—in 2008.

The towers have previously served as a pressure point for Erdogan's efforts to influence White House policy. Following Trump's proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants from entering the U.S., for example, Erdogan called for the president's name to be taken off the building.

But when Trump expressed support for Erdogan's post-coup crackdown and subsequent mass arrests, Erdogan stopped calling for the towers' name to be changed.

Trump himself has previously admitted that the towers represent a conflict of interest in dealing with Turkey. In a 2015 radio interview, he explained, ""I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul...It's called Trump Towers. Two towers, instead of one. Not the usual one, it's two. And I've gotten to know Turkey very well."

Trump's Sunday announcement came soon after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has long been threatening further incursions in Syria to dislodge Kurdish forces he considers an unacceptable threat to Turkey.

The Syrian Democratic Forces released a statement saying "U.S. forces have not fulfilled their obligations and withdrew their forces from the border areas with Turkey...Turkey is now preparing an invasion of northern and eastern Syria."

Trump Towers, Istanbul, Syria, Turkey, Ivanka
Trump Towers, Istanbul are seen in the Sisli District on November 29, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. Chris McGrath/Getty Images/Getty
Ivanka Tweet Thanking Turkey's Erdogan for Attending Istanbul Trump Towers Launch Re-Emerges Amid Syria Controversy | Politics
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