This mayoral candidate has the travel bug — and a tendency to take freebies from governments recognized as having major human rights issues by the United States and the United Nations.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has accepted thousands of dollars in travel and other perks from China, Turkey and Azerbaijan, three counties with a well-documented history of suppressing their citizens.
China’s government reportedly paid $787 for a hotel, local travel and meals for him when he visited the country in the summer of 2014. A nonprofit run by a volunteer Adams staffer also paid about $7,000 for the borough president and a deputy to make the 11-day trip.
Around the time of Adams’s visit, Chinese authorities “unleashed an extraordinary assault on basic human rights and their defenders with a ferocity unseen in recent years,” according to Human Rights Watch, and accelerated a brutal crackdown on its ethnic Uighur population.
The board that oversees New York City’s conflict-of-interest law declined to provide documents about the visit, citing unspecified privacy concerns.
Pressed on the funding sources, Adams said in July 2014 he would not decline offers from China’s government or nonprofits given the chance again.
“It’s totally appropriate,” he told NY1. “I’m not going to be a MetroCard borough president — I’m going to be a passport borough president.”