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National security leaders call on Donald Trump to disclose overseas business investments

More than 50 major national security leaders are calling on Donald Trump to disclose all of his business partners and investments overseas and to divest himself of his overseas business interests if he wins the White House.

“We are calling on Mr. Trump to disclose, in full, the nature of his business relationships overseas -- to include specifically who his business partners are and what and where are his foreign investments,” said the letter, obtained by CBS News.

The New York Times first reported about the letter on Monday.

The letter, which was signed by a number of prominent Republicans like former administration officials for President George W. Bush, comes after Newsweek reported last week that Trump has done business with controversial figures in Russia, India and China.

They argue that his business dealings could easily present conflicts of interest as commander-in-chief.

“It’s not hard to see why these reported relationships would be problematic. They could impact the foreign policy Mr. Trump would pursue as president, and they seem to have already influenced the policy positions he has taken as a candidate,” the letter said.

Former Bush administration officials who signed the letter include former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and former CIA Acting Director John MacLaughlin. The letter was spearheaded by former acting CIA Director Michael Morell and former under secretary for defense for intelligence, Michael Vickers.

The former officials wrote that if elected, Trump will need to act in the best interest of the U.S.

“Our policies must be motivated exclusively by what is in America’s best interest, not by the financial interests of our president. The onus is on Donald Trump to assure voters that this will be the case by disclosing the nature of his overseas relationships and committing to divest such assets,” they said.

The letter was also signed by Gen. John Allen, former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, Michele Flournoy, former under secretary of defense for policy, and Wendy Sherman, former under secretary of state for political affairs, among many others.

In a statement, Trump’s senior communications adviser Jason Miller said that the letter loses credibility because it’s signed by Sherman, who helped negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran. He didn’t respond to the overall requests.

“If Wendy Sherman is the definition of who is considered a reliable government official, this letter and its signatories lose all credibility,” he said. “Based on her complete failure in representing American foreign policy and deep ties to Secretary Clinton, this letter epitomizes the rigged system in Washington that has continued to fail Americans over and over again.”

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.