This week in Donald Trump's conflicts of interest: It's good to be the kids

This week, we find out that it's good to be a preferred child of the sitting president who defies ethics laws

Published April 22, 2017 10:30AM (EDT)

 (Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Shutterstock/Salon)
(Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Shutterstock/Salon)

While Trump himself has done pretty well through this week's conflicts of interest, his children have received unusual attention for their own shady activities.

Taxpayers flipped the bill for Eric Trump's business trip to Ireland

I suppose it's forgivable that Eric Trump needed to spend $11,261 of taxpayer money on Secret Service protection during his trip to the Trump Doonbeg golf course in Ireland. After all, although it's questionable whether he actually needs to do all this globetrotting at this time in his life — and that would all be moot were the president to completely relinquish control of his companies to his blind trust, and not to his kids — it at least makes sense that a presidential child should receive protection when he does so.

But $4,030 on his personal limousine? Really, man?

Ivanka Trump personally benefited after having a state dinner with China's president

Just as her father's company began notoriously receiving Chinese trademarks after the president recognized a "One China" policy, so too has Ivanka received three trademarks in China after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Considering that Ivanka Trump is now one of her father's chief White House advisers, she lacks her brother's ability to claim that there is nothing improper about mixing business with geopolitics.

Kellyanne Conway wasn't really punished for telling people to buy Ivanka's stuff, but Ivanka really benefited from it

It now turns out that, on the day when White House counsel Kellyanne Conway made an unethical plug for the first daughter's business line, sales spiked by 10,700 percent for Ivanka products over what they had been on the same day from the previous year. As of last month, Ivanka's sales were still up by 262 percent from where they had been in March of the previous year. Apparently violating basic ethics rules can pay, at least if you're a Trump.

Who says you can't make money running for president?

This is why people make a big deal about Trump not divesting himself from his companies: In the first three months of 2017, Trump's 2020 reelection campaign (yes, he's already started that) has spent almost $500,000 on hotels, golf clubs and restaurants owned by the Trump family. It's almost as if the same president who allegedly applied political pressure to diplomats from other countries to go to his Washington hotel doesn't see any separation between his business goals and his political ones.

But I'm sure when Eric Trump admitted last month that he discusses "the bottom line, profitability reports and stuff like that" with his father, that didn't mean anything at all.

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By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), media entrepreneur Dan Abrams, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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