While President Donald Trump's son-in-law and daughter (Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump) didn't completely dominate the conflict-of-interest headlines this week, their role became more conspicuous thanks to their growing prominence in the administration.
To start, however, we should take a look at...
Trump has a conflict of interest in the Philippines
Considerable controversy has arisen over Trump's decision to invite Philippine dictator Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. While this could be attributed to Trump's long history of affection for political strongmen (see: Putin, Vladimir), it doesn't hurt that Trump has business interests in Manila. He and Philippine developer Jose E. B. Antonio are partners in a 57-story, $150 million tower in Manila's financial district. Antonio was named special envoy to the United States by Duterte back in October.
Ivanka Trump's awful book is being hawked by taxpayer-funded programs
Remember when White House counselor Kellyanne Conway plugged Ivanka Trump's fashion line on national television? Clearly the First Daughter has learned from that experience (it caused a massive boost in her sales), since the government-funded broadcaster Voice of America is hawking her new book, "Women Who Work." Never mind the fact that "Women Who Work" is getting absolutely panned by critics as banal and out of touch; we're supposed to believe that Voice of America deemed its publication worthy of promotion for reasons that have nothing to do with the fact that it was written by the president's offspring.
The State Department also got in on the action of making Ivanka richer when its Office of Global Women's Issues subdivision used its Twitter account to retweet a post from her account promoting the book. After it was blasted for doing so, the site quickly took it down.
Jared Kushner wasn't forthcoming about conflicts of interest in his government disclosure forms
Like his wife, Jared Kushner has had a bad week when it comes to the public's perception of his integrity. It turns out that, when filling out his government disclosure forms, Kushner failed to mention his co-ownership of a tech startup that makes him business partners will billionaires like George Soros and Peter Thiel (the latter of whom has been a supporter of Trump). He also neglected to mention that he has at least $1 billion worth of loans from more than 20 different lenders, with $300 million of it being personally guaranteed by himself.
The Trump International Hotel is the swampiest place in Washington
This line from a Bloomberg piece in which reporter Max Abelson spent more than two straight days hobnobbing with Trump's inner circle at the Trump International Hotel in Washington really sums it up:
"The hotel lobby is drawing Trump fans who cheered his promises to drain Washington’s swamp, along with the power players who know how to swim in it," Abelson writes. "Because much of their money will end up in Trump’s pocket, and the government he controls leased the building to him, few places present more potential conflicts for the president."