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Donald Trump’s many potential conflicts

By Laurie Bennett

July 27, 2017 at 9:16am

The list of the Trump administration’s potential conflicts of interest lengthens with every revised financial statement filed by a family member or appointee.

The above Muckety map shows lenders to Trump’s businesses. It does not feature all the assets in which Trump or son-in-law Jared Kushner have had stakes. Real estate developers generally form limited liability companies for every project, which means page after page of assets.

Although many people called for him to divest or to put his businesses in a blind trust after winning the presidency, Trump placed his businesses under the control of his two oldest sons, who report to him regularly.

The Oval Office has proved to be an ideal stage for promotion of his real estate empire. During his six months in office, the president has visited and tweeted repeatedly about his hotels and golf courses.

Within days of the inauguration, Trump’s favorite destination, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, doubled its entry fees.

In New York, the Defense Department pays $130,000 per month for space in Trump Tower. In Washington, lobbyists and dignitaries regularly book rooms at the Trump International Hotel, which is five blocks from the White House. Last month, the president held a fundraiser for himself at the hotel, which a Trump company leases from the federal government.

Trump’s lawyers have said that Trump International revenues from foreign sources would be donated to the U.S. Treasury.

The ties to Russia are another hairball. Trump has said he does not do business there, though past practice would indicate otherwise. The matter is under investigation not only by Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller, but by attorneys pressing emoluments lawsuits.

Not all the potential conflicts involve the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause. Some are domestic. Public pension funds invest in his holdings. The Republican Party holds events at his hotels. His properties seek tax breaks and permission to hire temporary foreign workers.

Those are just the known entanglements. Others could be delineated in Trump’s tax returns, which he has yet to release.

Financial disclosures:
Jared Kushner
Ivanka Trump
Donald Trump

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