Monday, April 8, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He declared himself a sponsor of terrorism.

Today, Trump designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite element within the Iranian military, as a terrorist organization.

In a statement released alongside the order, Trump warned Americans that "[i]f you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism."

As the New Yorker reported in 2017, Trump himself was "in business with the IRGC" through his construction of Trump Tower Baku, a luxury tower in Azerbaijan's capital. Contracts for the construction were awarded through the politically influential Mammadov family, which was widely known as a cut-out for the IRGC. In simplest terms, the Trump Organization allowed the Mammadovs to profit in order to ensure that they didn't influence the Azerbaijani government against the project.

Trump continued his involvement the project—thereby "bankrolling terrorism"—through 2016.

Why should I care about this?

  • Participating in corrupt business practices is always wrong (and in the United States, illegal).
  • Presidents shouldn't do things that are by their own definitions "bankrolling terrorism."