Saturday, June 17, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He spent the day at Camp David, the first time since taking office that he's vacationed at a non-Trump branded property.

Trump, whose schedule was completely blank this Saturday, retired to rural Maryland's Camp David, ostensibly to celebrate Father's Day. The urbanite Trump is on record as saying that the resort's charms wear off in "about half an hour," and had not visited it prior to today since taking office. Instead, Trump prefers to take himself--and the financially irreplaceable attention he attracts--to properties he owns. He has spent almost a third of his presidency--42 of the first 149 days in his term--at a Trump-branded resort. 

Meanwhile, Trump's aversion to sleeping in beds he doesn't own is having miraculous effects on his bottom line. The financial disclosure forms he filed this week show extraordinary gains in the sectors of his business empire most affected by his campaign and the attention drawn by his presidential visits. Trump Tower and his jet rental company did brisk business with his donor-funded presidential campaign, Mar-a-Lago doubled its fees just in time for Trump to conduct business in its dining rooms, and his branded golf clubs are profiting from his own frequent use of them while in office.

Trump, who has adamantly refused to put his wealth into a blind trust, retains full financial control over his businesses and is regularly updated on them. This week, the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C., and about 200 congressional Democrats filed separate lawsuits against Trump for using the presidency as a means of personally enriching himself at the expense of the country and other businesses.

Why is this a problem?

  • A billionaire president's personal finances are actually less important than the job of being president.
  • A president who won't take the first step to try to avoid corruption is signaling that he is corruptible.