Walter Shaub, who is, as of Wednesday, a private citizen and no longer the head of the Office of Government Ethics, appeared Wednesday on CNN where, in an interview with Chris Cuomo, he came down hard on the Trump Administration for their lack of ethics.
After answering the question of how he feels now that he’s a private citizen by saying that “it’s a relief,” Cuomo asked Shaub to “make the case” that there are, in fact, conflicts of interest to be worried about in the Trump Administration.
Shaub replied by easily “making the case” for the seriousness of this issue, saying:
‘Any time you have vast holdings while you’re in a position of public trust, we’ve got to worry about whether you’re making your decisions based on your policy aims or based on your personal financial interests. In this case, we can’t know that because he’s continuing to hold his financial interests despite what every president since the enactment of the Ethics and Government Act in the 1970s did.’
The former ethics chief gave examples for the problems, the fact that “you see [Trump] giving free advertisements to his properties when he travels there” and that “they doubled the membership fee down in Florida at his resort there.
As Shaub explained:
‘These things matter, because we have to be able to have the American people trust that government decision-making is made on their behalf… conflicts of interest have real consequence.’
Cuomo brought up Russia next, asking the question of why Russia has seemed so ready to do political business with the Trumps, suggesting that there could be, as has been mentioned in the past, secret financial ties between the Trump Admin and Russia
Shaub agreed with the seriousness of the situation, adding that the Trump Admin has even more likely unexplored connections with foreign governments, seeing as they routinely change their plans to patronize Trump properties.
Even the one thing that Shaub could “give Trump credit for,” filing a financial disclosure form, was qualified by our national leadership’s serious missteps.
‘I was horrified when I sat across the table from [Trump’s] attorney and she asked me if he could file [his financial disclosure form] without signing it to certify that it’s true. I pointed out to her that millions of financial disclosure reports have been filed in the past four decades and every one of them has been certified as true and I think we can ask that of our president.’
Cuomo was horrified at the news that the president’s personal lawyer had sought freedom from the truth. Shaub said that he “had to pinch” himself when it happened.
Watch the full interview below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video