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This week in Donald Trump's conflicts of interest: Jetlagged!

There have been an unusual number of airplane-related scandals in this new installment of Trump's conflicts


Matthew Rozsa
September 23, 2017 10:30AM (UTC)

Do you remember that scene in "Air Force One," where President Harrison Ford (okay, the character had a different name, but it was basically Ford) told Gary Oldman to "get off my plane"?

I feel like the American people should be saying that to the president's Cabinet after the news that came out this week.

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Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price has been spending taxpayer money on private flights.

Between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, Price used private jets for official business on at least five separate occasions. One of those business trips resulted in Price spending roughly $25,000 in taxpayer funds — all for a trip from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia. By contrast, if Price had taken a United Airlines flight leaving at roughly the same time, it would have only cost taxpayers $447 to $725, and he could have spent as little as $72 to take an Amtrak train to Philadelphia.

Incidentally, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has also insisted on using private jets, although she at least has the decency to not charge taxpayers for it.

Eric Trump doesn't care if you know he's behaving unethically.

At least that's the impression with which one is left after reading that Trump's second son, Eric, held a private party for his foundation Curetivity at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York. While this may not seem like a big deal, Trump's foundation is currently under investigation by the State of New York after it was revealed that it had paid the Trump Organization at least $1.2 million to use its facilities for charity-related events, even though Eric Trump had previously claimed he could use his father's facilities "100 percent free of charge."

Senate Democrats are trying to stop Trump from profiting off of his presidency.

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The appropriately named Hotel Act — that stands for Heightened Oversight of Travel, Eating and Lodging — wants to remedy a major problem with Trump's presidency that "This week in Donald Trump's conflicts of interest" has addressed countless times. Since winning the 2016 presidential election, state Republican Party committees and foreign dignitaries have patronized Trump's properties, creating a potentially serious conflict of interest for the president. The Hotel Act would partly remedy this situation by making it illegal for executive officials to stay at properties owned by the president, vice president, Cabinet secretaries or their family members.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news 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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Betsy Devos Donald Trump Eric Trump Tom Price




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