Donald Trump continues to openly refuse to divest himself from his businesses and indeed is flaunting the conflicts of interest that arise from his new position and his corporate empire. That was made glaringly obvious this weekend when Trump’s private Mar-e-Lago club pulled in nearly half a million dollars by selling tickets to a swanky New Year’s bash – which coincidentally also would give the attendees access to the next President of the United States.
When reached for comment, the Trump team stated the obvious before delving straight into 1984-style denial. The transition is not concerned about the appearance of a conflict. This is an annual celebratory event at the private club, like others that have continued to occur since the election. Additionally, the president cannot and does not have a conflict.”
Two plus two is five; these aren’t the droids you’re looking for; the President cannot have a conflict of interest.
Mar-e-Lago holds these parties on every holiday so that Trump can rub shoulders with the privileged elites of Palm Beach and pretend that he is a man of class and accomplishment who has earned his wealth instead of simply having it handed to him by his father.
But Trump has made it very clear that he has no problem with using the presidency as a way to enrich himself and his family, who he says will take over his businesses and run them through a “blind trust.” Up to now, however, their involvement is anything but blind. Ivanka Trump has been spotted in meetings with the Japanese Prime Minister; Ivanka and Don Jr later attended a roundtable with Silicon Valley CEOs. Both Ivanka and Don Jr. were tagged in a thank-you message from Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump has pressured diplomats to stay at Trump Hotels in exchange for favors and provoked an international incident with China when he broke with decades of established protocol and called Taiwan to talk investment opportunities.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said today that America was quickly becoming like the dictatorships of Central Asia, where strongmen with cults of personality rule alongside a clique of corrupt oligarchs. Incidents like this are only just the beginning of “an era of epic corruption and contempt for the rule of law, with no restraint whatsoever.”
Watch the monied elites of Palm Beach cheer at the idea of repealing Obamacare and denying affordable health care to 20 million Americans:
— ABC News (@ABC) January 2, 2017