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Trump's conflicts

Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely
Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely

Vanity Fair magazine has perhaps put the current crisis facing the United States most succinctly. “Donald Trump has officially reached peak conflict of interest.”

The magazine made its judgment in the wake of news that the President-elect would not turn over his assets to a blind trust, but instead would hand them over to his children with whom he would be in regular contact. As one columnist suggested, “That is not a blind trust. That is not even a trust that needs glasses.”

The magazine made its judgment in the wake of news that the President-elect would not turn over his assets to a blind trust, but instead would hand them over to his children with whom he would be in regular contact. As one columnist suggested, “That is not a blind trust. That is not even a trust that needs glasses.”

By most reliable accounts, Trump's empire includes vast real estate holdings in countries around the world. Many are in countries where you don't do any business without the involvement of the government. As President, Mr Trump will have to deal with these countries, who may either court the U.S. government by favouring the Trump businesses, or punish it by putting increasing impediments before them. One can be sure a President Trump would not react favourably to the latter, even though his assets are supposed to be in the hands of others.

One might suggest there are ways around such conflicts, and there may well be. But then there are the more mundane, seeming minor conflicts that will undoubtedly arise. As President, Mr. Trump will be responsible for naming members of the National Labour Relations Board.  That Board has already ruled that the Trump hotel in Las Vegas must negotiate with its newly unionized staff. The company has launched a lawsuit challenging that ruling.

Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what a Trump appointed NLRB might look like?

The Wall Street Journal has called on the President-elect to liquidate all his assets and put the cash into a true blind trust. This protects not only the Trump assets, but also the people of the United States.

 

Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister and past president of the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

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