Trump holds a fundraiser at his hotel, and it's being blasted by ethics experts

An ethics watchdog is slamming trump's first 2020 speech held at his signature Washington hotel

By Matthew Rozsa

Published June 29, 2017 8:57AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump delivered a vitriolic stemwinder at a speech in front of 300 supporters at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, according to a report by Politico.

The 30 minute speech, which was the first fundraiser of Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, took shots at the media (particularly CNN), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff. The president also bragged about his accomplishments, such as passing deregulatory measures, even though his administration has been humiliated by recent weeks by failing to pass immigration restrictions and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Norm Eisen, who served as President Barack Obama's Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform and co-founded Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), took to Twitter to express dismay at the fact that Trump used one of his own hotels as the venue for the speech.

Eisen has been an outspoken critic of Trump's numerous conflicts of interest. When discussing this matter with the Washington Post, Eisen pointed out that "Trump is the framers’ worst-case scenario. A president who would seize office and attempt to exploit his position for personal financial gain with every governmental entity imaginable, across the United States or around the world."

Eisen also spoke with Salon earlier this month and expressed concern about a chain of patriotic-themed three star hotels that the Trumps plan on creating, which is problematic because Trump has yet to fully divest himself from his business empire.

"It raises constitutional questions because the domestic emoluments clause doesn’t permit a president to receive any compensation from the states over and above his federal salary," Eisen said. "Well, here, these hotels are going to be receiving all kinds of benefits; discretionary permits, tax breaks, subsidies."

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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