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Vancouver-based developer speaks out on report of Trump Tower investigation

The Trump International Hotel and Tower is seen in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday January 20, 2017.
The Trump International Hotel and Tower is seen in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday January 20, 2017. CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Vancouver-based developer of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver says they haven’t been contacted by the FBI or any authorities in regards to matters raised in a CNN report published last week.

CNN reported that members of the Trump family, including Ivanka Trump, are under investigation by the FBI in connection to the building in downtown Vancouver.

LISTEN: Holborn Group reponds to CNN report on Trump Tower investigation

Joo Kim Tiah runs Holborn Group and was in charge of the $360-million project on West Georgia St.

“Holborn Group’s and Joo Kim Tiah’s  business relationship with the Trump Organization extends only to a brand licensing and hotel management for the development of Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver, which was jointly developed by Holborn Group and TA Global Berhad,” reads a statement from the company.

“Neither Holborn Group nor Joo Kim Tiah have any interaction or business dealings with Jared Kushner whatsoever.”

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The CNN investigation alleges US counterintelligence officials are looking into Ivanka Trump’s involvement in negotiating the Trump building in Vancouver. Business dealings by Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, have been of interest to authorities who are looking at whether they leave the United States vulnerable to pressure from foreign agents.

READ MORE: Vancouver Trump Tower is a ‘PR nightmare,’ according to expert

Both Ivanka Trump and Kushner have senior positions in the US President’s office.

“Ivanka Trump’s involvement was specifically on interior design and Ivanka Trump’s interior design was utilized towards the development of the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver,” reads Holborn’s statement.

“Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump represented the Trump Organization in the business dealings with Joo Kim Tiah and other representatives of Holborn Group and TA Global Berhad pursuant to the Trump Agreements.”

WATCH HERE: Protests at opening of Vancouver’s Trump Tower

Protests at opening of Vancouver’s Trump Tower
Protests at opening of Vancouver’s Trump Tower

According to the CNN report, it’s twhy authorities may be interested in the Vancouver property.

“In the case of Vancouver, it’s not clear why investigators are examining this particular deal. The timing of the deal — as one of the few Trump-branded properties to open since Trump took office — could be of interest,” the report reads. “The flow of foreign money, either from the developer or international condo buyers, could also be sparking scrutiny.”

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READ MORE: Donald Trump’s sons in Vancouver for Trump Tower official opening on Tuesday

The Holborn Group contends there was no political influence involved in the development of the project. The building was completed in 2016, but the contracts to have the Trump name on the project were completed long before the New York-based real estate mogul became involved in presidential politics.

“The brand licensing and hotel management agreements between Trump Organization, Holborn Group and TA Global Berhad for Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver were entered into in March 2013 (the “Trump Agreements”), prior to President Trump’s announcement to run in the 2016 U.S. Election,” reads Holborn’s statement.