The Donald Ducks Conflict Of Interest Issue
Donald Trump finally gave his first press conference as president elect of the United States yesterday, and it was exactly the circus show everyone expected it to be.
Right off the bat, Trump pushed back against the wild new allegations that the Russian government is blackmailing him with stories of his sexual escapades at a Moscow hotel.
He called these allegations "fake news" and blasted the mainstream media for reporting on them.
And while that was crazy enough, things got even weirder when Trump started talking about how - as president - he was going to deal with the giant conflict of interest presented by his personal business empire.
After refusing once again to release his tax returns, Trump brought some tax lawyer named Sheri Dillon on stage to explain why he's not doing the constitutional thing and divesting himself from the Trump Organization.
According to Dillon, his plan is to instead just hand things off to his sons Eric and Donald Jr. for the next four years.
Eric and Donald Jr won't be allowed to make any new foreign deals - and will theoretically have to have domestic deals reviewed by an ethics advisor - but Daddy Donald will still be the official "on paper" owner of the Trump Organization.
In other words, he still has a giant conflict of interest on his hands.
As long as he maintains some connection to his businesses, he has every incentive to use the office of President of the United States to enrich his sons, his family, and himself.
He basically admitted - or bragged - as much at the end of his press conference, joking about how if his sons weren't doing a good job after he leaves office, he'd fire them.
These papers are all just a piece of the many, many companies that are being put into trust to be run by my two sons and I hope at the end of eight years, I'll come back and I'll say, oh, you did a good job. Otherwise, if they do a bad job, I'll say, "You're fired."
Republicans just spent the past 8 years railing against President Obama and so-called crony capitalism - how can they possibly feel comfortable with this situation?
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