Donald Trump’s incessant tweeting is not the only thing that separates him from past presidents. His numerous business ties are also unique, and the President has not done a particularly good job at convincing the American people that he has entirely separated himself from his real estate company and other deals.
Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel has recently been accused of having an unfair advantage over other businesses in the area due to the name on the building, and, now, the editorial board of the Star-Ledger is questioning the success Trump’s other businesses have seen since his inauguration.
In an op-ed published on Friday, the editorial board suggested that the recent firing of all Obama-appointed U.S. Attorneys (including Preet Bharara, whom Trump promised would retain his job) has to do with the fact that “Donald Trump’s business is booming all over the world.”
After lamenting the fact that Trump still has not divested himself fully from all his business deals, the editorial board wrote, “this is not how it’s supposed to work.”
‘This is not how it’s supposed to work. The president should not make policy decisions that affect his personal wealth — even if it’s the fringe benefit of having his name on hotels around the world — because his business interests, which are remarkable for their opacity, are not supposed to supersede those of the country.’
The editorial board also argued that it is suspicious that Bharara was fired a mere three days after three public interest groups asked him to investigate whether or not Trump’s business ties violate the Emoluments Clause.
The situation is made even more suspicious, the editorial board explains, by two events that occurred at the same time as Bharara’s firing. First, the firing came at the same that Chinese regulators gave the President “lucrative trademarks that permit him to use his name on everything from golf clubs to nursing homes.” Second, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, recently closed a deal with Anbang, China’s largest insurance company, that will reportedly rake in $400 million.
The authors of the editorial go on to explain that they are not the only people who find these deals to be questionable.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) is quoted saying that Trump’s trademark deal is a sign that Beijing officials:
‘Have come to appreciate the potential return on investments for China in having a positive, personal business relationship with the President of the United States, who has not taken appropriate and transparent steps to completely sever his relationship from the corporation that bears his name.’
The editorial board also couldn’t help but point out Eric Trump’s remarks last week about how Trump’s golf properties are doing:
‘The stars have all aligned. I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been.’
The piece ends with a stern, although not untrue, reminder about the reason business is improving for the Trumps:
‘Some might find it comforting to see America made great again, even if it’s just its moneyed subculture. But it is the product of a massive ethics breach, one borne of tacit Congressional permission to cash in on the American presidency, and now we know: The presidency is great for business.’
Read the full editorial here.
Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images.