Donald Trump and his people haven’t learned anything following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Brad Parscale, manager for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, is now under fire for accepting money from foreign nationals.
According to the report, Parscale took a trip to Romania where he delivered a paid speech to Romanian politicians and policy experts.
The Post notes that it is perfectly legal as long as Parscale does not do any lobbying in the U.S. on behalf of foreign clients without registering.
But legal experts who talked to the Post feel differently about the situation.
Richard Painter, who served as an ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, was critical of Parscale’s actions, telling the Post, “The appearances are terrible. You would certainly think that a campaign manager would not take money from foreign nationals in this political environment.”
Kayleigh McEnany, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, told the Post that Parscale’s speech in Romania was fine because he was doing so “as a private citizen” and “followed the Trump campaign’s approval process governing invitations for outside speaking engagements.”
Despite McEnany’s excuse, Republican political strategist John Weaver, who worked on the presidential campaigns of George H.W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, was critical of Parscale’s speech in Romania and told the Post, “I’ve never heard of anything like this before. There are too many opportunities where there could be potential conflicts between a presidential campaign and the policies that the candidate could espouse and potential income. It is a conflict-of-interest zone that you just never enter into.”
Trevor Potter, president of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, also called out Parscale. He told the Post, “It appears the Trump political organization has learned nothing from 2016 about the dangers of senior campaign personnel’s entanglement with foreign money.”