6 More Conflicts of Interest in the Trump White House

2017 marks the first time that a businessperson has occupied the White House. Now, as we are learning from dubious attempts to claim separation between family members, the administration and the Trump Organization, you can’t really take the businessman out of President Donald Trump.

Only a few months into his term, President Trump and his extended family continue to use their new power and influence to enrich the Trump family itself in a disturbingly high — and growing – number of financial conflicts of interest.

Here are just six that have recently come to light:

1. Ivanka Trump’s new book

First daughter and now presidential assistant Ivanka Trump clearly wasn’t expecting to be an administration official when she began to write her new book, “Women Who Work.” Now, however, she has been tasked with the Herculean effort of trying to keep her book promotion separate from her official White House duties.

So how is that going? Well, the official State Department twitter account retweeted a message from Ivanka about the book, and the government-funded news site, “Voice of America,” published a review to promote it — so, not well at all.

2. Foreign governments fast-tracking Trump business needs

How do you keep business and government separate, when the CEO of a company is also acting as an ambassador? That’s the question Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has for the Office of Governmental Ethics, after Ivanka Trump received extremely quick new trademarks for her business in China.

“On April 6 the Chinese government granted provisional approval for three new trademarks for the Ivanka Trump brand,” Sen. Wyden wrote in a formal letter to he OGE. “On the same day, Ms. Trump dined with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping during a state meeting at Mar-a-Lago. Experts have stated that Ms. Trump’s trademarks applications appear to have been approved ‘incredibly quickly’ compared to the normal 18 month to two year application process.”

3. Government entities promoting Trump properties

It has been impossible to miss the fact that President Trump has spent most weekends at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. But if you aren’t familiar with the property, well, the State Department offered a handy historical guide on its website.

“The Mar-a-Lago post is nearly three weeks old but gained traction [April 24th] when several people noticed the U.S. embassy to the United Kingdom was featuring it. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, asked on Twitter why taxpayers are ‘promoting the president’s private country club’ and referred to the incident as ‘kleptocratic,’” the Associated Press reported. “Norman Eisen, who was President Barack Obama’s chief ethics attorney, said the promotion is ‘exploitation.’”

4. Foreign dignitaries promoting Trump properties

Of course, the issue becomes just as awkward when political guests from other countries are promoting Trump-branded products, too. As Think Progress reports, numerous politicians and ambassadors have stayed at Trump’s D.C. hotel. And some, like the Georgian Ambassador who tweeted about how wonderful it was, look like they may be trying to influence the president with their business.

“[Ambassador Kaha Imnadze] Imnadze, a foreign government agent, clearly wants his stay at the Trump International hotel to be noticed. His tweet isn’t part of his common travel practice: He has never before tweeted about a hotel, and most of his few previous tweets tagged “#travel” have been travel advertisements for Georgia,” explains the site. “It is, however, a clear example of how foreign governments are using Trump’s hotels to curry favor with his administration.”

5. Trump-branded buildings benefiting from extra business — and taxpayer-funded services

Mar-a Lago is being promoted by official government channels, and the property could even be getting a helicopter pad soon. Trump has spent multiple weekends playing on his Trump-branded golf courses. And visitors are staying at Trump hotels and joining Trump-owned clubs for exorbitant fees. The Pentagon is even preparing to spend millions to buy out an apartment in Trump Towers, so they can put the “football” there.

6. The Kushners using their ties to urge foreign investors to give them money

Finally, in one of the most blatant misuse of power yet, the Kushners — the family of President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner — are telling Chinese investors that if they provide $500,000 in investments into their businesses, they can get a visa to immigrate to the U.S.

“Watchdogs and ethics experts on Saturday criticized the Beijing event as an attempt to cash in on Kushner’s newfound proximity to power,” The Washington Post reports. “‘It’s incredibly stupid and highly inappropriate,’ said Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s administration, who has become a vocal critic of the Trump administration. ‘They clearly imply that the Kushners are going to make sure you get your visa. . . . They’re [Chinese applicants] not going to take a chance. Of course they’re going to want to invest.’”

With this many conflicts of interest, could an impeachment be far behind?

Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Follow /Flickr

93 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

Not sure I believe the shallow proof provided.

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william Miller
william Miller2 years ago

Thanks

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E2 years ago

david f
this isn't ABOUT the Cilintons is it !!!
Even some of the Republican Senate and Congress are asking for trump's tax returns now.
His base is now more and more thinking he is a liar !! david, you're backing a fat orange haired clown. His family isn't far behind him. Their "moral" values where shady deals are concerned is also ALL about greed. How much money do they think they need? As it is, all of them are now living off YOUR dime.

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers2 years ago

Thanks.

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David F
David F2 years ago

Robin Marty's Fake News censored the other major part of this story, failing to list the Russian connections, scandals, cash payoffs directly to Clintons bank, the millions in payment to the Clinton Foundation and Clintons email treason allowing at least 5 foreign intelligence agencies access to our most secret programs.

Somehow these liberals forgot that mega criminal Hillary was the only other choice over Trump.
Half one sided stories are Propaganda.

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heather g
heather g2 years ago

I wonder how long this level of corruption can go on in America.

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Karen H
Karen H2 years ago

Sadly, our members of Congress and the Senate turn their heads and look the other way. I'm up to email #121 to Brian Mast and Marco Rubio, asking (among other things) if they have the balls to confront Trump, but all I see are new tap-dancing moves as they send non-responses. They'd do well on Dancing with the Stars. Because their favorite Cheeto is in charge, and they're afraid he'll treat them like naughty little boys, they're saying nothing. Trump is taking money away from the Coast Guard, yet the CG patrols the waters off Mar-a-Lago to ensure no killer submarines are lurking with evil intent. Trump Jr said they got money from Russia. The FTC has warned celebrities not to post photos on social media that may be construed as product endorsement - yet the State Department endorsed Ivanka's book. I was at a social event in the 90s also attended by Trump. I stood right next to him. Thought he was a jerk then and my opinion hasn't changed.

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David F
David F2 years ago

Margaret Goodman,
Whether you believe making America Great again and it's created wealth will improve the US ability to improve its environment or not, is a separate issue from the liberal Fake News victims squealing Russia, Russia, Russia.

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Judith Emerson
Judith Emerson2 years ago

:o X6 .... not really. :/

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