WSJ To Trump: Sell It Off
The Wall Street Journal, that conservative bastion of news media, is telling President Elect Donald Trump to liquidate his business holdings now. Holding onto assets that present such major conflicts of interest lie in direct conflict with Donald Trump’s oft-repeated promise to “drain the swamp.”
In other words, Donald Trump really does need to build a wall – between his business and the presidency.
The president, as many of us have been forced to learn, is actually exempt from most conflict of interest laws. But America has never been faced with a president elect who has so many glaringly obvious conflicts of interest. Trump refuses to put his assets in a blind trust, preferring to leave it in the hands of his children…even as they are present in meetings with foreign heads of state. He held a recent meeting with business interests from India. People feel obligated to stay at his newly-opened hotel in Washington…which the United States government holds the lease to, and to which Trump is already protesting that he pays too much. Ivanka Trump recently used her position as the daughter of the president elect to hawk a bracelet costing nearly $11,000. Trump has a stake on more than 500 businesses worldwide – and it remains unclear, due to his unwillingness to produce his tax returns, how much he may owe to which foreign banks, and just how deep his ties may be to foreign entities.
“One reason 60 million voters elected Donald Trump is because he promised to change Washington’s culture of self-dealing, and if he wants to succeed he’s going to have to make a sacrifice and lead by example,” the Wall Street Journalsaid in an editorial Friday.
And remember, this is a news outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
As such, the editorial stated that Trump’s murky business dealings as President of the United States will present a political problem not so much because of the glaringly obvious ethical entanglements, but because of “constant media scrutiny.”
Well, whatever it takes.
Of Course, The ‘Media’ Is To Blame
The Wall Street Journal pointed to the recent effort by Ivanka Trump to capitalize on her father’s position with the sale of jewelry as the “beginning of media catcalls.”
This is, of course, the conservative outlet’s way of saying things are starting to look pretty hinky, and the media is going to put a spotlight on it.
“If Mr. Trump doesn’t liquidate, he will be accused of a pecuniary motive any time he takes a policy position,” the Wall Street Journal said. “Mixing money and politics could undermine his pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ In Washington.”
To avoid any appearance of conflict of interest (never mind the fact that there will almost certainly be multiple conflicts of interest), the Journal suggested that Trump first liquidate. He should then put the cash proceeds from the liquidation into a blind trust, put the assets in his children’s names, and then cut of communication with his children in regards to business matters.
You know, be on his best behavior and just promise really hard that he won’t discuss business matters while taking up residence in the White House.
Still, liquidating his assets would be a good first step towards draining the own murky swamp Trump himself has dragged to Washington.
Of course, there is little chance he will actually do it. Profits and politics shouldn’t mix – but neither should racism and leadership.