Kellyanne Conway, a Senior Advisor to President-elect Trump, said in an interview on Fox & Friends Monday morning that people should focus less on Trump’s conflict-of-interest and more on the “sacrifice” he’s making to his business career by becoming president.
Seriously?! Trump has never sacrificed anything.
Noting that Trump’s web of business investments, hotel properties and dealings with foreign investors will create conflicts of interest of unprecedented magnitude, host Brian Kilmeade asked Conway whether she agreed that the Trumps “have to work out where the business starts and the presidency starts.” Conway waved off the concerns suggesting that Americans should ignore conflicts-of-interest and focus on Trump’s ‘sacrifice’.
“Oh well sure. But they are doing that…they have experts behind the scenes doing that, the adult children who already help him run that business and who obviously will be the stewards in their father’s absence are on top of that” Conway said.
“It’s a unique situation to have such a successful a businessman that has so many holdings ascend to the oval office. But I also want people to see what a sacrifice it is. He has invested tens of millions of dollars and other deals have had to wait because he’s doing this. But his adult children are right there, they’re already his colleagues, he’s already been their mentor and they’re already chief executives there,” she added.
Unlike previous presidents, who have placed their assets in index funds or a blind trust, Trump has done nothing to separate himself from his business interests as he assumes control of the government.
Trump has said he would turn his businesses over to his children and has referred to this arrangement as a “blind trust” but it’s actually the opposite. In a real blind trust, in a neutral party takes control of marketable assets. Because the administrator can trade these assets away at anytime, the contents of the trust are soon unknown.
And he’s not hiding this web of conflicts — instead, he is flaunting it by giving his assets to his children — hardly a neutral party. Not only are they his business colleagues, he’s made them part of his transition as well. The same people shaping his administration are also the ones leading his business empire.
And since Trump isn’t actually relinquishing control of his businesses, all of this means that rather than sacrifice, Trump is poised to use the presidency for his personal profit.
That’s a huge problem — both for Democracy, and for the constitution.