This week in Donald Trump's conflicts of interest: Trump properties flourish in Trump era

Particular attention is focused on Trump's business properties in this week's installment

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 22, 2017 6:30AM (EDT)

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

It's ironic that President Donald Trump is reportedly investigating potential conflicts of interest to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller. After all, if conflicts of interest were enough to bar someone from power, Trump would be nowhere near the presidency right now.

Mueller is expanding the probe to look into Trump's business transactions

Speaking of Mueller, it looks like the special counsel is expanding his probe into the business dealings of not only the president, but also his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to a report by Bloomberg. Interestingly, this will wind up incorporating a money-laundering investigation launched by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump earlier this year.

The military has to spend $130,000 a month on space in Trump Tower

Even though Trump hasn't spent a night in Trump Tower, that doesn't mean the military isn't renting 3,475 square feet of space from April 2017 to September 2018, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. On average they are spending $130,000 each month on this space, and since Trump has not divested himself from his business empire, this is money that ultimately goes into the pockets of the president and his family.

This passage from the outgoing director of the United States Office of Government Ethics says everything

In his recent editorial to the New York Times, Walter Shaub Jr. hit the proverbial nail on the head.

By continuing to hold onto his businesses and effectively advertising them through frequent visits to his properties, our leader creates the appearance of profiting from the presidency," Shaub wrote. "As things stand, we can’t know whether policy aims or personal financial interests motivate his decisions as president. Whatever his intentions may be, the resulting uncertainty casts a pall of doubt over governmental decision-making.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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