These people do not think the normal rules apply to them and so far there’s no reason to believe that any of the Trump family or the Kushner family plan to sacrifice anything in order to serve the public. In fact, all the evidence shows they plan to take full advantage of their connections. Just this past weekend, it was revealed that when Ivanka met with the Japanese prime minister her company was in intense negotiations with a major Japanese retailer — which is partially owned by the Japanese government. They’re just going for it.
It’s hard to pick out one quote. You’ll have to read it.
NPR has a nice summary of the blind trust issues with a brief survey of recent conflicts.
Two weeks ago, the Washington Post pointed out that Trumps “adult kids” are, in fact, participating in the transition. And because we live in the era of ' "War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery.”’, there’s an actual discussion of what constitutes a blind trust. Vanity Fair suggests Mitt Romney had already moved the bar at the presidential level.
From the Vanity Fair article: "As a freshman senator, Barack Obama—whose wealth comes almost entirely from his book royalties—set up a blind trust but later that same year sold all of his stocks and closed the trust because he decided that even such an arrangement could not protect him from the appearance of a conflict. Most of his wealth is now invested in U.S. Treasury bonds and diversified funds—about the most transparent option available. What’s good for the country is good for Obama, and vice versa, to coin a phrase.”
The Obama presidency is relatively scandal free. As far as I can recall David Petraeus is the only administration official convicted of a crime. And, as far as I can recall, this is the first administration since Jimmy Carter that a senior staffer hadn’t been convicted of a felony during the administration.
Don’t expect Congress to keep Trump in line.
“The American public has a right to know that the President of the United States is acting in their best interest, and not because he or she has received some benefit or gift from a foreign government like Russia or China or any other foreign entity,”
Mr. Trump has acknowledged a conflict of interest in Turkey. “I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul,” he said during a radio interview last year with Stephen K. Bannon, the Breitbart News executive who has since been designated his chief White House strategist. “It’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers — two towers, instead of one. Not the usual one. It’s two.”
These tangled ties already have some members of Congress — including at least one Republican representative — calling on Mr. Trump to provide more information on his international operations, or perhaps for a congressional inquiry into them.
“You rightly criticized Hillary for Clinton Foundation,” Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, said in a Twitter message on Monday. “If you have contracts w/foreign govts, it’s certainly a big deal, too. #DrainTheSwamp”
Elaine Chao, who has held various posts in Republican administrations, is proposed as Secretary of Transportation in the new administration.
During GHW Bush’s administration, she served as Deputy Administrator of the Maritime Administration.
Her family owns a shipping company.
As the clock ticks down towards President-elect Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, the window is rapidly closing on the General Services Administration’s opportunity to extricate itself from the Trump Organization’s lease of the historic Post Office Pavilion. The lease—in which Donald Trump would, in effect, be both landlord and tenant—now presents unprecedented and intolerable conflicts of interest.
(h/t Daring Fireball)
Paul Krugman explains all.
Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest? Well, now the man who benefited from all that innuendo is on his way to the White House. And he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire.