It’s been less than two weeks since election day and Donald Trump is proving what many of his critics have warned about. His determination to exploit the presidency for personal gain becomes clearer with each passing day.
Already the President-elect has met with business partners from India where he has pending projects. In a congratulatory call from the the president of Argentina, Trump asked for his help in facilitating building permits. He let his daughter Ivanka sit in on a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan. The Washington Post reported that about 100 foreign diplomats gathered at Trump’s hotel in Washington to ingratiate themselves to the incoming president. And that is just a sampling of the potentially impeachable offenses that Trump is shamelessly rubbing in America’s face.
What makes this all the more galling is the response to these ethical breaches from within the Trump camp. His senior advisor, Kellyanne Conway, was on Fox News Monday morning where she waived off any concerns as distractions. She characterized Trump’s “sacrifices” as being more noteworthy:
“It’s a unique situation to have such a successful a businessman that has so many holdings ascend to the oval office. But I also want people to see what a sacrifice it is. He has invested tens of millions of dollars and other deals have had to wait, because he’s doing this. But his adult children are right there. They’re already his colleagues. He’s already been their mentor and they’re already chief executives there.”
It’s difficult to see any evidence of sacrifice on the part of Trump. He is blatantly promoting his own financial self-interests. And Conway’s description of the role his children are playing just makes matters worse. She is conceding that they have been groomed to represent his business objectives. It’s a veritable confession of self-dealing – a felony under federal law.
The fact that Trump’s children are officials in both his business and his presidential transition team is worrisome. It sends a message to those seeking favor with the President that they can please him by patronizing his far-flung enterprises. The Trump administration is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump Organization.
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Conway is now making the rounds to friendly media to portray the appearance of corruption as irrelevant or an illusion. This can only lead to the wholesale commercialization of the presidency, or the next constitutional crisis. Either way it damages our country’s reputation and integrity. And it affirms the sad truth that electing Trump will be the biggest embarrassment this nation has ever suffered.