This week in Donald Trump's conflicts of interest: Trump's bad presidency is also bad for business

Trump's children are starting to notice that dad being president impacts their bottom line

By Matthew Rozsa
April 15, 2017 2:30PM (UTC)
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(Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Shutterstock/Salon)

Donald Trump may be president, but he was also once a businessman (in case you hadn't heard), and the empire from which he has yet to fully divest himself is currently managed by his children. That's an important fact this week.

Steve Bannon may be on the outs in part because his nonsense is imperiling the Trump kids' inheritance


While Trump may insist that the opening weeks of his presidency have been an unparalleled success, his children are worried that the failures of Trump's launch will negatively impact the family brand, according to a report by the Washington Post. It's hardly a surprise, in light of this revelation, that two of the people taking the lead in trying to phase alt-right darling Steve Bannon out of the Trump administration are son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump.

Eric Trump promises that the president will be good to Ireland while visiting the family's Irish resort

During an interview with Clare FM's Morning Focus, the Trump son managed to mix promoting the resort known as Trump Doonbeg with a promise that his father would be very good for Ireland. As Eric put it, his presidential dad "is a guy who loves this property, he loves Ireland, he loves everything about it and he is stuck with the most difficult job in the world." But don't feel too badly for the most "stuck with the most difficult job in the world," because at least he has the warm embrace of Ireland. "He always loved it, he loved the warmth, the loved the atmosphere, he loves Ireland in general. From a big picture standpoint, Ireland will have no better ally in the world than America, it has always been that way, but even more so," Eric insisted.


Trump has spent as much on personal travel in his first three months as Barack Obama did in eight years

Trump may claim to be a small-government conservative, but so far he has cost taxpayers $21 million in trips to his palatial Mar-a-Lago Florida resort. By contrast, Obama spent $97 million on travel during his entire presidency. It's hard to imagine a Democrat getting away with that kind of tax-and-spend lifestyle, but Trump and his supporters have managed to take it for granted that this is how their president will conduct himself.

Don't worry, there is a congressional investigation — though you probably shouldn't get your hopes up


The Government Accountability Office, which is the independent investigative unit of Congress, is reviewing whether Trump's transition had conflicts of interest as well as whether it violated protocol and security precautions. Of course, because this is being done at the request of two Democrats — Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland — we shouldn't expect that much will be done with whatever findings the GAO digs up, at least not until 2019 at the earliest.

Despite wanting to cut the Coast Guard's budget by 14 percent, Trump expects them to guard his golf club


Although Trump plans on cutting the Coast Guard's budget by 14 percent, he still expects them to guard his golf club — and, for that matter, the rest of his Mar-a-Lago estate, a demand that is putting them under a heavy financial burden with the resources they already have. As Adm. Paul Zukunft, the Coast Guard’s commandant, told The Post, "We have teams protecting the approaches to Mar-a-Lago on both coasts. We’re also protecting in the air, as well." Needless to say, this runs up additional costs, although it is unclear how Trump expects the Coast Guard to pay for them.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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