Repository for links and comments regarding corruption by Trump and those in his family and administration.
From WaPo: Nine questions about President Trump’s businesses and possible conflicts of interest
Here are the nine questions the article provides answers to:
1. Does President Trump still own his company?
2. How many properties does President Trump have his name on?
3. But how many of those buildings does Trump own?
4. Wait, I thought Trump was going to profit off the presidency. Have his businesses actually done better or worse?
5. How much money does the president owe — and who does he owe it to?
6. Is Trump getting business from the federal government? What about from his political supporters?
7. Have foreign governments spent money at Trump properties?
8. Is Trump breaking the law with his business dealings?
9. Has President Trump released his tax returns?
9a. Would we be able to answer all of these questions more clearly if he did?
From WaPo: Trump Jr. to give foreign policy speech while on ‘unofficial’ business trip to India
News that the Trump Organization would be offering buyers in the Trump Tower the chance to meet the president’s son sparked criticism of potential conflicts of interest, and the fact that Trump Jr. will be giving a foreign policy speech while on a private business trip complicates the matter further, ethics experts said.
The senior Trump did not divest himself of his businesses when he was elected president. Rather, he turned the day-to-day operations over to his older sons, Don Jr. and Eric, to run. Eric Trump told The Washington Post last year that “the company and policy and government are completely separated. We have built an unbelievable wall in between the two.”
Watchdog groups disagree.
“Trump’s company is literally selling access to the president’s son overseas,” said Jordan Libowitz, the communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which is frequently critical of the first family. “For many people wanting to impact American policy in the region, the cost of a condo is a small price to pay to lobby one of the people closest to the president, far away from watchful eyes.”
Critics have often complained of the high cost of Secret Service agents accompanying the Trump children on private business trips, straining the agency’s budget. The Trump Organization’s spokesman did not return requests for comment.
Jeffrey Toobin: "Whatever you say about Richard Nixon or about Warren Harding or about anyone in the 20th or the 21st century they have never been running profit-making businesses out of the White House" https://t.co/GlgXnrd1kp https://t.co/yJt3g9hwxQ
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 20, 2018
If this alone is an impeachable offense, I think it’s very close. I would guess that there isn’t more outrage because people are just overwhelmed with deluge of bad things and distractions. Maybe they really haven’t thought through the reasons this is so bad. I predict this will be one of the many things future generations will marvel at how many seemed to overlook this.
Jared Kushner met multiple times in the White House with leaders of at least two financial institutions that subsequently made large loans to Kushner’s family real estate business https://t.co/bVb9n5UO4d pic.twitter.com/vnmmFKvZAL
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 1, 2018
"It's amazingly unusual" for top government officials to be in meetings with people when firms they're associated with stand to financially benefit from those conversations, Patrick Cotter, a white-collar defense attorney, tells @JudyWoodruff. pic.twitter.com/R2Sq1B0yF8
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) March 2, 2018
The SEC late last year dropped its inquiry into Apollo Global Management, a financial company that a month earlier had given the Kushner Company a $180 million loan. https://t.co/ww1XrbR90R
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) March 2, 2018
BREAKING: Trump confidant dumped millions in steel-related stock last week, days before tariff announcement https://t.co/HL4wYHivLY pic.twitter.com/KoE2GeLipP
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) March 2, 2018
On the left, countries Ivanka Trump visited as a White House official. On the right, countries she visited that recognize trademarks from her business. Any questions? pic.twitter.com/SRwjLgSaBN
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) March 2, 2018
Who knows if Ivanka served the nation’s interests or her own. But at the very least this creates the appearance of corruption, and the conflicts of interest are apparent.
We requested Trump’s political appointee staff lists.
We’ve found ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest. https://t.co/DApI0ifXXq
— ProPublica (@ProPublica) March 7, 2018
This is not a joke. Under the leadership of @realDonaldTrump and @MickMulvaneyOMB, a payday lender applied to run the @CFPB – and cited HER EXPERIENCE BEING INVESTIGATED FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION VIOLATIONS as a qualification. https://t.co/bnk8KJLaAM #NotTheOnion
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) March 7, 2018
Janet Matricciani, former CEO of payday lending company, World Acceptance, requesting to be next director for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Re: the quote above, here’s what Matricciani said to Mick Mulvaney the Budget director and acting directorof the CFPB
“I have indepth (sic) experience of what a CFPB investigation is like, and so I am in an unparalleled position to understand the effect of various CFPB actions on a company, its workforce, its customers and the industry,” she says.
World Acceptance had been under investigation by the CFPB for three-years over its lending practices after ProPublica published an examination of the company’s lending tactics, finding evidence it repeatedly trapped its customers in debts they could not repay and charged them interest rates higher than what they disclosed when the customers took out the loan. The bureau has said the decision to drop its investigation into World Acceptance was made by career staff, and not by Mulvaney or any other political appointee.
World Acceptance, one of the nation’s biggest payday lenders, is based in South Carolina and gave Mulvaney thousands of dollars in campaign contributions while he represented the state in Congress.
Why was Trump's personal aide frogmarched out of the White House? He was gambling tens of thousands of dollars at a time, leaving him susceptible to blackmail, per an investigation. w/@CarolLeonnig: https://t.co/nXiBOuBNod
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) March 15, 2018
As far as I know, big debts also make a person a potential security risk and Jared Kushner–maybe even the Trump–may have some significant outstanding debts.
Warning of "repercussions," Trump company lawyers seek Panama president’s help https://t.co/te66qJkJTV
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 9, 2018
Lawyers representing President Trump’s company last month wrote directly to the president of Panama, asking him to intervene in a legal fight over the Trump International Hotel in the nation’s capital — and warning that the case could have “repercussions” for Panama’s reputation.
“It is a letter that urges Panama’s executive branch to interfere in an issue clearly of the judicial branch,” de Saint Malo said. “I don’t believe the executive branch has a position to take while the issue is in the judicial process.”
“This situation is currently before the courts, but it has repercussions for the Panamanian state, which is your responsibility,” said the letter, signed by attorney Eric Britton (Britton is attorney for Trump’s business.)
The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment. President Trump has said he gave up day-to-day control of the business when he took office, but he remains its owner and can withdraw money from it at any time.
And the very least this creates appearance of conflict of interests, and it creates a situation where U.S. government may hurt Panama in some way, if the Panamanian government doesn’t help Trump Organization.
This is beyond Trump enriching himself–This is damaging relationships with other countries and making it impossible for U.S. citizens to feel confident that Trump is acting in the best interests of the country and not himself.
I just confirmed this w/the Philippine Embassy: the embassy will hold its June 12 Independence Day party at…@realdonaldtrump's hotel. That comes after Trump has praised Duterte, and vice versa. https://t.co/eaeFYpiDd4
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) April 19, 2018
This party, put on at @realdonatrump's hotel by a foreign govt, is on June 12.
One day before that, a federal judge will hear arguments in a lawsuit alleging @realDonaldTrump is violating the constitution….b/c his hotel takes payments from foreign govts. https://t.co/6ryWyjrm0V
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) April 19, 2018
Want to know more about why Foreign Emols Clause violations threaten our nat'l security? Check out this brief of nat'l security experts in support of @SenBlumenthal @RepJerryNadler & other members of Congress who are suing the Pres re these violations https://t.co/tC5rVT0giW pic.twitter.com/Y64MZt8USv
— Brianne Gorod (@BrianneGorod) April 19, 2018
Just so we're clear, it is illegal to use public office for personal, private gain.
Public office like EPA administrator.
Personal gain like trying to get your wife a Chick-fil-A franchise. pic.twitter.com/36E2OX4rH6
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) June 6, 2018
Not to state the obvious, but Trump is breaking this law. And if the law doesn’t apply to the President, he’s violating the principle behind the law.
(Note: I didn’t read the article.)
Oh, look: we're about to start a trade war, and our Commerce Secretary is deeply enmeshed with hostile foreign powers (and lied about it) https://t.co/l4IganYA3c pic.twitter.com/oVIW3XnkTI
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) June 18, 2018
Days after I sought comment from Wilbur Ross about his investment in a Kremlin-linked shipping firm, he shorted stock in the company, then sold it after my story with @sashachavkin came out, per @DanAlexander21 https://t.co/n0j7yTSl3u
— Mike McIntire (@mmcintire) June 18, 2018
NEW: We found that Ivanka Trump’s business received registration approval for three additional Chinese trademarks on June 7th, the same day that President Trump agreed to lift sanctions against the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE. https://t.co/7rW4J17AMI
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) June 27, 2018
NEW: Who’s in charge at the VA? There are three guys at Mar-a-Lago who you should meet.https://t.co/5HlvxfC2xN
— Isaac Arnsdorf (@iarnsdorf) August 7, 2018
This could have been under the corruption thread. In any event, I’d be surprised if these three advisers don’t make a mess of things at at the VA.
23 thoughts on “Trump: Corruption and Conflicts of Interests Thread”
(Note: I didn’t read the article.)
I don’t understand why Senate incumbents think this is a good idea. It’s as if they’re all saying, “Let’s see how far we can actually push this stuff and get away with it.”
Also, that’s a lot of white guys.
One journalist mentioned something about how oligarchs in Russia know that their opportunity to enrich themselves may be limited, because ruler can be overthrown at any moment. Because of that they scramble to enrich themselves, often brazenly. My hypothesis is many of the GOP are behaving in the same way. The odds are decent that after this year many of them may be wiped out. If it’s really bad, the party itself might be near dead. Maybe this isn’t accurate, but it would explain a lot, in my view.
How are Senate incumbents enriching themselves by spending money at those properties? I don’t get it.
Think of it this way: the process of enrichment may also involve bribing and catering to the ruler in unethical and illegal ways in order to enrich themselves. The GOP is turning a blind eye to all the conflicts of interests with Trump and his family, including allowing unqualified people like Ivanka and Kushner to handle highly complex foreign policy issues, knowing that the Trump family enriching themselves in the process. In return the GOP get the policies they want, and possibly line their pockets personally (maybe creating a golden parachute in the event the midterms are a bloodbath).
From CNN Money: All the Things Donald Trump Said About His Tax Forms (April 17, 2017)
Or a late night informercial or a pitch from a self-help charlatan. Also, someone else asked, “What’s ‘4.1?'”
One of my takeaways from this article (based on a more massive investigative piece) is that it shows a pattern of deception, fraud, and the desire to create an appearance of success.
I would have less problems (not a lot less, but a little) if Christians who supported Trump didn’t base their support on the belief that Trump was a strong Christian.
Quotes in this thread make Trump sound like a con man.
Don’t fall for the “in two weeks” con.
I can’t believe he’s still pushing this line:
I didn’t realize IRS regulations require presidents to be audited annually.
On another note, the money Trump either received or owed to other nations was something that really concerned me.
I don’t know if this is true, but if it is, it doesn’t sound good.
Thread, which includes reporting that lead to this final conclusion.
I wonder what people would say if the Clinton Foundation was found to have been run this way.
I’m guessing it depends on whether they’re Clinton supporters or not. I’d like to think that I would condemn Clinton for this.
M hm. And what are they going to say in defense of this guy?
Who? Trump supporters or Trump opponents? About Trump?
I think this Ezra Klein Show podcast with Adam Davidson is worth listening to, even though it’s quite long. But I suspect you guys won’t listen to it, so I will mention a few details that stood out for me:
1. Davidson mentions that the Trump organization did business with an Iranian group that has been known to launder money for the Iranian government, which funds terrorism. Davidson expressed surprise that this hasn’t become a bigger deal.
It’s also important to note that Davidson mentions several examples of the Trump Organization dealing with sketchy individuals and organizations.
2. Russia has been laundering a lot of money via real estate businesses in the New York and London. How much money? Davidson said that an official told him that they haven’t cracked down on this because it would severely damage the economies of both cities if that they did. To me, this is crazy, but it does explain things–why, perhaps, both the U.S. and U.K. won’t push back hard on Russian oligarchs and Putin, even when Russia uses a nerve agent to kill British citizens on British soil.
Scandal Involving Trump Inauguration
What’s a little troubling is if this claim by Republicans is true:
Blatant, brazen corruption.
GOP not doing anything essentially means they think none of this warrants the end of a presidency.
Also, the Air Force refueled at Prestwick Airport, not at Trump resort. But that doesn’t mean the act wasn’t suspect:
Trump owns Turnberry Resort.
Also, see this 2014 tweet:
More on the whole Turnberry story below:
I think a lot, if not most, of the resorts he’s visited he owns–so he’s enriching himself on tax dollars.
Room rentals, resort fees and furniture removal: How Trump’s company charged the U.S. government more than $900,000 from WaPo
Breathtaking corruption in a very detailed report. Those who were outraged by supposed corruption with the Clinton Foundation should be hopping mad.
Reminder of what Trump said and promised during the campaign:
Comment from an administration official is damning:
Farenthold doesn’t have DoD records beyond 2017, which makes you wonder how much more DoD funds went into Trump properties.
Another report from WaPo
Here’s David Fahrenthold talking about it:
In the last week before Election Day, Trump makes a pitch for his re-election by pointing out…Biden’s corruption and ostensibly nepotism with his son. I put this tweet here, so that one could easily scroll up and see a long list of examples of Trump’s brazen corruption, some of which includes his children.
Listening to him speak about Biden’s corruption in relation to the examples above (and they’re not exhaustive) is remarkable–particularly the lack of self-awareness and shame; he almost seems delusional. In Trump’s mind, truth is whatever benefits himself and lies are whatever hurts him. Well, that’s what it seems like.
Selling access to Trump to lobby him for pardons
(Note: I didn’t read this yet.)
Trump’s Company Gets Maximum Punishment for Evading Taxes from the NYT