The Trump administration continues to come under fire for conflicts of interest relating the Trump Enterprise not only for the President himself, but also for his family who have followed in his footsteps governing the country. The newest conflict came to light Tuesday when it was reported that Ivanka Trump was awarded 3 trademarks in China and the trademarks were awarded oddly enough, while Chinese President Xi Jinpin was dining with the Trumps at the President’s country club, Mar-a- largo. Ivanka Trump is not only the President’s daughter, her husband is one of the President closest adviser, and Ivanka has the position of special assistant to the president.
This is not the first time and most likely not the last time that the question of conflict of interest has been brought up regarding the Trump business. There are those who say that the family should not have to lose out on making money while serving in the White House, yet there are constitutional questions regarding how the Trumps are doing business. Ethics experts such as Richard W. Painter, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, have stated that Ivanka Trump should “put the business on hold and stop trying to get trademarks while you’re in government.”
Chief White House ethics lawyer under President Barack Obama, Norman Eisen, stated in an interview with the AP, that Ivanka Trump “has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy. I would never have allowed it. For their own sake, and the country’s, Ivanka and Jared should consider stepping away from China matter.”
Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump, candidate, promised that on day one of his presidency, he would label China as a “currency manipulator, and that China “should have labeled as such years ago.” In October, candidate Trump stated that “Obama’s Treasury Department had one last chance to fulfill candidate Obama’s [promise] to brand China a currency manipulator. It refused, and Obama will leave office with one of his biggest lies intact.” Last week, with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinpin Trump backed off the threat stating that China is not a currency manipulator breaking a campaign promise that helped him get elected. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that “Trump’s failure to name China a currency manipulator is symptomatic of a lack of real, tough action on trade against China.”
Trump has found other ways to enhance his family fortunes. One direct way is how he rents spaces for his rallies at his hotels or at other Trump businesses. When he does have rallies, he is paid for the use of his properties from the Republican National Committee or even his 2020 Presidential campaign. Then there are all the trips to what Trump calls the Winter White House, his country club, Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Instead of using the People’s House, Trump has found that he prefers to entertain foreign dignitaries at his private club such as when the Chinese President visited where he informed the Chinese President of the order to bomb a Syrian Airport due to that country’s regime’s use of chemical weapons on their own people, while eating the “most beautiful chocolate cake.”
Ivanka Trump is merely following in her father’s footsteps when it comes to business while employed as a federal employee. Problem is, Donald Trump made the choice to run for President. It was his choice to serve his country and as such should have to divest himself from all his businesses. Many believe that making money while being President is repugnant and yes, a conflict of interest.
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