by Countable | 3.20.17
It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:
"The Defense Department may rent space in Trump Tower, where President Trump lives part time, raising questions about a potential conflict of interest because taxpayer dollars could be going directly to his business interests. An official said the move might be necessary to support the day-to-day operations for the president and his staff."
"The Pentagon made similar arrangements with past presidents, including for the Chicago home of President Barack Obama. The difference in this case, which was reported by CNN on Tuesday night, is that the Defense Department could be funneling government money directly to Mr. Trump’s commercial interests."
Read more at the New York Times.
"President Trump on Wednesday went after a panel of federal judges weighing whether a court order blocking his travel ban should be lifted. Speaking to a gathering of law enforcement officials, Trump argued the judges should immediately reinstate the executive order in the name of national security."
"He vented his frustration at the legal arguments made by judges and attorneys on both sides of the case, even reading aloud a portion of immigration law he believes backs up his executive order barring the intake of refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries."
Read more at The Hill.
"White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that Nordstrom's decision to stop carrying Ivanka Trump's clothing and accessories line is an attack on the president's policies and his daughter. Spicer told reporters during his daily press briefing that the decision -- which Nordstrom said was a result of poor sales, not politics -- was because of the clothing company's displeasure with President Donald Trump's executive orders and his policies."
"Earlier on Wednesday, Trump attacked Nordstrom on Twitter, saying that the brand treated his daughter “so unfairly." When asked why Nordstrom's decision would be an attack on the President's daughter after she supposedly removed herself from her company, Spicer said that the attack affects Ivanka Trump because the brand still bears her name.”
Read more at Talking Points Memo.
"U.S. aviation investigators are probing an incident in which a private plane and President Donald Trump’s aircraft flew closer than was permitted, three people familiar with the event said.
The two aircraft got to about 2 nautical miles from each other over Florida on Feb. 3. Planes under the supervision of air-traffic controllers are supposed to stay at least 3 nautical miles from each other near airports and as far as 5 nautical miles apart at higher altitudes."
"The people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to talk about the case, said that there was no risk of collision as the planes were flying on parallel courses. The Federal Aviation Administration, which declined to comment in an e-mailed statement, is investigating. "
Read more at Bloomberg.
"Yemen’s top diplomat said the country has called for a “reassessment" of a Jan. 28 raid that left multiple civilians and a U.S. service member dead, but Yemen did not issue an outright ban on future American-led missions, a report said Wednesday.”
"The statement by Yemen’s foreign minister, Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi, according to the Associated Press, followed a report in the New York Times that Yemen had revoked permissions for the United States to continue ground counterterrorism operations in the country, a base for one of al-Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliates."
Read more at the Washington Post.
— Erin Wright
(Photo Credit: TonyTheTiger_sign_2.JPG) / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
The lease payment from the federal government to Trump Tower sure looks bad as do the Ivanka shoe deals and Melania's planned ventures: they all show that the trump family sees the presidency as a business opportunity. But I think we should not lose focus from more insidious conflicts of interest and plain corruption (Trump hotel in DC, dealings with foreign leaders / business partners) where the scope for damage to the American people is potentially far greater. Also, Trump needs to release his tax returns or congress needs to pass a law that publishes (or provides for confidential bi-partisan review) any president / candidate's tax returns to guard against surreptitious conflicts of interest and corruption.
If Trump, First Lady, and minor child want protection at any of their properties in which they will charge the taxpayers rent or where that city charges for additional security/policing, then they should foot the bill themselves. The only time taxpayers should be footing the bill is at the WH, while on official US business, and while visiting a property not owned by Trump an family during the occasional vacations unless he is willing to forego charging taxpayers rent as well as the additional security costs when it isn't necessary for him or his family to live full or part time at Trump Tower. He should not have applied for a job in Washington, DC if he and his wife knew they didn't want to move and live in the WH full-time, feel it's not luxurious enough, a pent house, etc. Especially when Trump himself pay NO FEDERAL TAXES, other billionaires pay none or a lower %, middle and lower class's incomes stagnant, and the national debt is in the trillions! Adult children should pay for all of their security, travel, and any other costs as well. For all presidents and their families. In this case, every adult member is profiting off of Trump in the WH, getting recognition for their personal businesses, and are actively involved and traveling by choice not on behalf of our country.
This just gets worse every day! What? He doesn't have enough money? Hasn't paid Federal taxes in two decades, won't produce his tax returns as he promised, refuses to put his businesses in a Blind Trust, reprimands people and companies publicly in tweets, constantly undermining news agencies, the list goes on. This would be a direct conflict of interest. NO! Enough!
Are you serious?!? WTF happened to the emoluments clause of the US Constitution?!? How is Trump avoiding getting impeached for stuff like this?!?
Why is our President spending any time in Trump Tower at all? This takes him away from the interests of our country and puts him closer to the Organization managing his brand. We cannot have a President who is distracted by the dealings of his "former" business when his priority must be our nation. Divest!
The taxpayers should not have to subsidize Trump's businesses. Melania's lawsuit and Trump's tweet complaining about the fact that Nordstroms is dropping his daughter's clothing line seem to indicate that he is more concerned with profiting from his office than he is with doing anything in the public interest. The failure of Congress to demand his tax returns or investigate his blatant conflict of interest is dereliction of duty on a staggering level, and if they allow government agencies to pay rent in Trump Tower, they will have failed the American people.
Unethical. Trump and his family are profiting from his presidency, making he and family profit. Emoluments clause. Ethics committee must investigate.
Do not let the pentagon lease space in the Trump tower this is an unbelievable conflict of interest. Tax payers money would be going directly to the president, whom was supposed to divest himself of said business but did not.
Are you... friggin'...kidding me??? Oh and to the "American public" who are so outraged by this... um it is costing us New York City tax payers $500,000 A DAY just for Melania and her spawn to live here. We are paying that. You all... you pay for the White House. That's Federal tax payer money. But since they choose to stay here and in Florida, we have the extra burden of paying more and now this?!?! No. I refuse. Not one cent.
If the Pentagon is actually planning to rent space in NY's Trump Towers, the Trump organization must reimburse the US taxpayers dollar for dollar. There have to be consequences for these egregious conflicts of interest.
Trump said he would not take a salary as president. So, if he chooses to vacation in Florida, have a residence in New York, make him pay taxes on his millions by requiring him to fund whatever security is necessary at residences other than the White House or Camp David.
Trump himself said he would take no salary as president and yet he will still make money off the tax payers with actions like the defense dept is preposing. There are plenty of other buildings to set up office besides Trump tower let's not allow Trump to put more of our money in his pocket. If he had a shrewd of decency he would offer space for free since the defense dept is only needing the space because he is the president.
How can anyone - Republican or Democrat - think this is ok? Republicans continually blasted Secretary Clinton about conflicts of interest. How is this not a huge conflict of interest?? Profiting from the office of president for personal gain is illegal in this country.
If the tRump family needs protection let them live in the White House otherwise they're on their own.
How many conflicts of interest will be allowed before the President will be investigated? His financial ties should not be anywhere near the government, yet the DAPL is moving forward, he is attacking Nordstrom on behalf of His daughter, and now the Pentagon is considering leasing space in one of his buildings? How is this even acceptable on any level? How long will our representatives turn their heads? Remember that you are there to serve your constituents and we are watching what is happening...and we are not pleased.
This Republican administration is already costing the American public too much financially,morally and ethically. The Trump family is profiting from their positions while destroying our country We oppose any more expenses. This has to stop NOW!
The White House and Camp David are provided by the taxpayers for the president to use. No other residence or office space should be needed. This is corrupt. If Trump chooses a second home or office, all government usage in his building should be given FREE!
I do not support the secret service leasing in trump towers.
The Pentagon leasing space in Trump Tower! Really? This should definitely be another cause for impeachment! How can you support this? You are allowing him to be the dictator he wants to be! Where is democracy? Where is your obligation to the American people? Why haven't you DEMANDED to see his taxes? Why have you not DEMANDED more of YOURSELVES for YOUR constituents! Greed and fear of Trump is the only answer I see!
Absolutely freakin not! How is this even a possibility? There's a reason there are secure locations for the president to live. It's bad enough we are paying 100's of millions of dollars because FLOTUS won't move to D.C. Donald wanting to be a part time president is not an excuse for him to pad his pockets further at our expense! Ridiculous.