Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What did Trump do today?

He categorically refused to divest from his business holdings during his presidency, claiming that the "fire sale" that would result from doing so now would cost him too much money.

Midway through his first press conference since July, Trump gave the podium to one of his lawyers, who explained that turning over management of the Trump Organization to Trump's elder sons would somehow "avoid potential conflicts of interest or concerns regarding exploitation of the office of the presidency without imposing unnecessary and unreasonable [market] losses on the president-elect and his family."

The Office of Government Ethics released a lengthy refutation of those claims today. It emphasized that sacrifice is part of public service, and reiterated its previous statements that anything short of an actual blind trust, in which Trump's assets are sold to disinterested parties, will lead to criminal violations of conflict of interest laws.

What would I have to believe to have a problem with this?

  • Nothing that defends the integrity of the presidency is unnecessary.
  • No personal financial sacrifice is unreasonable to ask of a president if it safeguards the interests of the United States.
  • How much money it will cost to behave ethically is not what determines whether something is ethical.