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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trump says he will leave his entire business enterprise ‘in total’

Details coming in December 15 press conference

Trump says he will leave his entire business enterprise ‘in total’

Politically this is probably a smart move, and in the short term it might make him a better president. There are precedents it sets that I’m not sure I like, but we’ll get to that. Here are the basics:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2016/11/30/trump-announces-he-will-leave-business-in-total-leaving-open-how-he-will-avoid-conflicts-of-interest/?utm_term=.77823bb97385

President-elect Donald J. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he would soon leave his “great business in total” to focus on the presidency, a response to growing worries over the businessman-in-chief’s conflicts of interest around the globe.

The announcement marks a turn from Trump’s months-long refusal to distance himself from his private business while holding the highest public office.

But it remained unclear whether the new arrangement would include a full sale of Trump’s stake or, as he has offered before, a ceding of company management to his children, which ethics advisers have said would not resolve worries that the business could still influence his decisions in the Oval Office.

“I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted.

“While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses. Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!”

Wall Street Journal has called on Trump to liquidate his interest in the business empire entirely
No less than the Wall Street Journal has called on Trump to liquidate his interest in the business empire entirely. If he doesn’t - and I’m sure he realizes this - he creates endless opportunities for his political opponents to try to pin scandals on him. The mere fact that the federal government is a tenant in Trump Tower provides an obvious conflict of interest - one Trump could probably have managed in the abstract. But when there thousands of them that have the potential to pop up every day, how do you ever get the opportunity to focus on governing?

As to the details, the fact that his children are going to be involved with the press conference suggests to me that Trump is not simply selling everything off to the highest bidder. He may be selling it to them (assuming they could come up with the money), but it sounds more likely that he’s stepping away and putting everything in some sort of blind trust. Yet it wouldn’t be a totally blind trust if his children are involved in the management of it, especially since it’s clear they will be important advisors in his administration, as will his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Anyway, here’s the principle this establishes that I really don’t like. We’ve never before had a pure businessman/non-politician elected president, and because it has now happened for the first time people are screaming about all the horrible conflicts of interest because Trump has profit-earning interests that could butt up against the interests of the federal government or, theoretically, the nation.

I get that.

News from idealmedia.com/http://idealmedia.com/

I don’t like the precedent that people from the private sector are inherently tinged with conflict, whereas career politicians who accept money from special interests all the time are in the clear
But do these people think career politicians have no similar conflicts? What about Democrats who rely heavily on public employee unions for campaign cash? What about Republicans who rely heavily on chambers of commerce and other established business interests for campaign cash? Why does Trump have to divest himself of every real or perceived conflict of interest in the private sector, but these people can keep accepting cash from their benefactors while pushing policies that benefit said benefactors?

These conflicts are just as serious, if not more so, than Trump’s. But we’ve lived with them for as long as anyone can remember and we’re all used to it by now, so it’s no big deal. But Trump’s conflicts are the end of the world and he has to sell everything?

I don’t like the precedent that people from the private sector are inherently tinged with conflict, whereas career politicians who accept money from special interests all the time are in the clear. Trump may be able to divest himself or otherwise step away from his business to focus on the presidency, but I don’t see why everyone from the business world should necessarily have to do so. Yet this is going to set the precedent that they must, thus discouraging their interest in seeking office, while professional politicians will keep doing what they’ve always done.

That’s a crock, however much Trump’s decision is probably beneficial both to him and to the country in the short term. Someone needs to tell the political class that making money in the private sector is not a scandal.

Dan Calabrese —

Pro Deo et Constitutione – 
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis 
Paratus et Fidelis 
Joseph F Barber


Details coming in December 15 press conference

Trump says he will leave his entire business enterprise ‘in total’

Politically this is probably a smart move, and in the short term it might make him a better president. There are precedents it sets that I’m not sure I like, but we’ll get to that. Here are the basics:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2016/11/30/trump-announces-he-will-leave-business-in-total-leaving-open-how-he-will-avoid-conflicts-of-interest/?utm_term=.77823bb97385

President-elect Donald J. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he would soon leave his “great business in total” to focus on the presidency, a response to growing worries over the businessman-in-chief’s conflicts of interest around the globe.

The announcement marks a turn from Trump’s months-long refusal to distance himself from his private business while holding the highest public office.

But it remained unclear whether the new arrangement would include a full sale of Trump’s stake or, as he has offered before, a ceding of company management to his children, which ethics advisers have said would not resolve worries that the business could still influence his decisions in the Oval Office.

“I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted.

“While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses. Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!”

Wall Street Journal has called on Trump to liquidate his interest in the business empire entirely
No less than the Wall Street Journal has called on Trump to liquidate his interest in the business empire entirely. If he doesn’t - and I’m sure he realizes this - he creates endless opportunities for his political opponents to try to pin scandals on him. The mere fact that the federal government is a tenant in Trump Tower provides an obvious conflict of interest - one Trump could probably have managed in the abstract. But when there thousands of them that have the potential to pop up every day, how do you ever get the opportunity to focus on governing?

As to the details, the fact that his children are going to be involved with the press conference suggests to me that Trump is not simply selling everything off to the highest bidder. He may be selling it to them (assuming they could come up with the money), but it sounds more likely that he’s stepping away and putting everything in some sort of blind trust. Yet it wouldn’t be a totally blind trust if his children are involved in the management of it, especially since it’s clear they will be important advisors in his administration, as will his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Anyway, here’s the principle this establishes that I really don’t like. We’ve never before had a pure businessman/non-politician elected president, and because it has now happened for the first time people are screaming about all the horrible conflicts of interest because Trump has profit-earning interests that could butt up against the interests of the federal government or, theoretically, the nation.

I get that.

News from idealmedia.com/http://idealmedia.com/

I don’t like the precedent that people from the private sector are inherently tinged with conflict, whereas career politicians who accept money from special interests all the time are in the clear
But do these people think career politicians have no similar conflicts? What about Democrats who rely heavily on public employee unions for campaign cash? What about Republicans who rely heavily on chambers of commerce and other established business interests for campaign cash? Why does Trump have to divest himself of every real or perceived conflict of interest in the private sector, but these people can keep accepting cash from their benefactors while pushing policies that benefit said benefactors?

These conflicts are just as serious, if not more so, than Trump’s. But we’ve lived with them for as long as anyone can remember and we’re all used to it by now, so it’s no big deal. But Trump’s conflicts are the end of the world and he has to sell everything?

I don’t like the precedent that people from the private sector are inherently tinged with conflict, whereas career politicians who accept money from special interests all the time are in the clear. Trump may be able to divest himself or otherwise step away from his business to focus on the presidency, but I don’t see why everyone from the business world should necessarily have to do so. Yet this is going to set the precedent that they must, thus discouraging their interest in seeking office, while professional politicians will keep doing what they’ve always done.

That’s a crock, however much Trump’s decision is probably beneficial both to him and to the country in the short term. Someone needs to tell the political class that making money in the private sector is not a scandal.

Dan Calabrese —

Pro Deo et Constitutione – 
Libertas aut Mors Semper Vigilans Fortis 
Paratus et Fidelis 
Joseph F Barber




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