It has been 140 days since Donald Trump held any kind of press conference at all.
A few days ago, Donald Trump called off the press conference he had promised to give tomorrow. Trump has promised that he would use that press conference to detail the steps he would take to avoid conflicts of interest between his businesses and the work he has pledged to do as President of the United States.
Those conflicts aren’t just a matter of appearances. Donald Trump is on the verge of engaging in grave violations of the Constitution of the United States of America, the highest law of the land, on the very first day he enters the Oval Office.
Section 9 of Article 1 states that “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” An emolument is a thing of value… like a really nice business deal, or a gift given in the form of overpayment for a commercial service.
Donald Trump is already accepting emoluments from foreign states, as foreign diplomats are lining up to book the most expensive rooms in Trump hotels in order to gain favor with the President-Elect. What’s more, Donald Trump’s businesses are spread throughout the world. Just in 2016, Trump opened up 6 separate new businesses in Saudi Arabia. So, the opportunities for foreign leaders to present Trump with emoluments aren’t just easy. They’re practically unavoidable.
For Donald Trump to do anything other than cut off all ties with his businesses, placing his assets in a blind trust for the duration of his presidency, will be flagrant corruption. Yet, the most that Trump has promised to do is to hand over the daily operations of his businesses to his sons, Eric and Donald Jr. Of course, the Trump White House will have plenty of contacts with Eric and Donald Jr. Handing his businesses over to his sons is a means of ensuring corruption, not a method for preventing it.
This problem was made plain at a meeting today that thoroughly mixed the Trump presidency and the Trump business empire. This afternoon, President-Elect Donald Trump held a meeting with the most powerful leaders of Silicon Valley corporations. Representatives of Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, and a whole bunch of other heavy hitters in the online business world were there.
So were Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., along with Ivanka Trump. They were made part of the political deals that were forged between Donald Trump and corporate leaders, and they were making business deals for the Trump business empire at the same time.
The simple statement, “Donald Trump promised his supporters that he would drain the swamp of corruption in Washington DC if elected,” has become nothing but a laugh line used by world weary comedians.
Even before his inauguration, Donald Trump’s government has become the swamp.