Trump’s Conflicts of Interest

November 16, 2016 § Leave a comment

ivanka-trump-bracelet-2016-11-15Conflict of interest is a very polite term to use for a refusal of a President-elect to step away from his financial holdings. It is way too polite a term for someone who refuses to refrain from making his family the center of his transition team, no matter how very right the reasons might feel to him to be. This issue surrounding Mr. Trump and his family has come into very sharp relief in the past couple of days. I won’t even get into how hypocritical it is for this man to claim to be rooting out corruption in DC, when he’s spent his week taking it to a whole new level. Let the facts speak for themselves.

On Monday, Ivanka Trump’s company used the occasion of Trump’s 60 Minutes interview, his first big meeting with the press, to shill her $10,800 gold and diamond bracelet to the American public. Well, to the rich American public, the part of the American people her father wishes to please.

This week, too, Mr. Trump requested national security clearance for his entire family. Four kids, their spouses, dogs and cats too I guess. Trump likes to talk things out and maybe the Presidency might be too demanding unless he can discuss the issues of the day with folks he really trusts–dozens and dozens of people who weren’t elected, have no role, have no experience even if they did and have conflicts of interest almost as egregious as Trump’s.

This week Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, billionaires in their own right, became trusted members of Trump’s transition team. Kushner’s ventures include real estate (he’s being sued by people at one of his buildings about sewage leaks); the New York Observer (he just shut down the print edition), and a health insurance company that is now, according to VANITY FAIR, bleeding money , but soon–if Mr. Kushner helps his dad shut down Obamacare–might well perk up.

Meanwhile, the Old Post Office Building in DC opened just down the block from the White House. It offers 263 luxury rooms and a spa designed by Ivanka to all the diplomats and eminences who will be coming to town in the next four years. Should people who stay at Trump hotels and live in Trump buildings, play at Trump’s golf courses, and do business with Trump be promised a ginormous tax cut?

Also this week, Ivana Trump, Ivanka’s mom and Trump’s first ex wife, said she wouldn’t be at all averse to being named our ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

I don’t remember anyone’s agreeing to a sacral monarchy here in the USA. That Trump was elected president means that he, and only he, comes into office–not his kids, not his business cronies, not his ex wives, not governing by divine right and certainly not his and his children’s profit making machine, which is already grinding overtime to take advantage of their great new business opportunity, the White House. If Mr. Trump cannot divest himself of his obviously greater interests–his financial and family interests–he should resign before he takes the oath of office.

In all fairness, these are not yet appointments to the administration. Really, Trump can appoint his dog to be chair of the transition team. But nepotism and cronyism are regulated as soon as Inauguration Day rolls around.

Someone whose financial and family interests become hazardous to security, to governance and to the funding supplied to government–taxation–has no place taking office in what was still, last time I checked, a democracy.

Banana, anyone?

c 2016 Jacqueline Austin. All rights reserved.

PS Latest news: Ivanka and Kushner have just removed themselves from the security clearance list. Whew–that’s two. But I still would like to be a fly on the wall at Thanksgiving Dinner at the Trump Tower this year.

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