As a perpetual braggart with little regard for the truth, Donald Trump can hardly utter a sentence without declaring himself to be the best, the greatest, or some other superlative in one aspect of his existence or another.
The president with such an elevated opinion of his own self-worth finally has a real accomplishment that he can claim, although it’s not one that any sane person would want to boast about.
The Washington DC-based government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) announced yesterday that Trump has achieved a new record in the days since his inauguration, reaching a total of 3,000 documented conflicts of interest between his businesses and his government employment.
CREW Research Director Robert McGuire celebrated the unholy occasion by tweeting a handy infographic detailing some of the major violations of government ethics — and the Consitution’s emoluments clause — that Trump has blithely and corruptly committed during his tenure to date, according to the watchdog group’s findings.
As of this week, world-renowned anticorruption crusader Donald Trump has racked up more than 3,000 conflicts of interest as president, with no signs of letting up https://t.co/GnTuReL2zm pic.twitter.com/szOC1UNdPz
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) February 28, 2020
CREW has been compiling reports that reveal the unethical relationships between the president, his commercial enterprises from which he never divested his ownership, and those trying to influence the federal government—including lobbyists, foreign governments, and even members of Congress.
The Executive Director of CREW, Noah Bookbinder described the now enormous round number of conflicts of interest as “disgraceful.”
“Every one of the more than 3,000 conflicts of interest that President Trump has incurred through his businesses raises new questions about whether he is making decisions in the interest of the American people or his own bottom line,” said Bookbinder in a statement. “Not only does he appear to be profiting from the presidency daily, but he is constantly facing new temptations to use his office for his own benefit.”
While Trump likes to exploit the support of his evangelical followers, he apparently completely ignores the line in the Lord’s Prayer about leading us not into temptation and instead dives headfirst in its pursuit.
By refusing to divest his business interests and temporarily handing control of the Trump Organization to his two equally despicable sons, CREW says in their report that the president showcases “the president’s willingness to blend his personal gain with his professional responsibilities.”
Among the ethical violations cited in the latest CREW report are these conflicts that generated beaucoup bucks for Trump’s personal fortune:
- 55 members of Congress have visited Trump’s resort properties 78 times.
- Cabinet members have patronized Trump hotels and resorts and attended events with special interest lobbyists or wealthy political donors at least 30 times.
- Entities tied to foreign governments have held 13 events at Trump properties, and at least 134 foreign dignitaries have visited one of Trump’s properties in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
- Since Trump took office, special interest groups have sponsored 117 events at Trump properties.
In total, Trump has reached a level of corruption previously unimaginable at the highest levels of the U.S. government, averaging more than two conflicts of interest for every day that he has served in office.
It will be interesting to see how the president tries to spin the one ignominious accomplishment that he actually managed to achieve in reality. Will he deny CREW’s findings and denounce the organization as liars trying to bring down his presidency for political purposes? Will he pick a Democrat to accuse of conflicts of interest in his typical game of projection, blaming his enemies for being guilty of that which he openly does? Or will he simply ignore the accusations and continue pocketing every cent of taxpayer, lobbyist, and foreign government money that he can?
Our bet is that he’ll probably do all of the above.
Original reporting by Common Dreams at AlterNet.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.