Trump’s Sons Plug Father’s Presidency, Hotel Chain On Morning TV And It’s Perfectly Legal

When then-President Elect Donald Trump held a press conference on January 11 to separate himself from his business ventures, he said, “These papers are just some of the many documents I’ve signed turning over complete and total control to my sons,” while standing next to a table stacked with manila folders. Sure, the papers all looked blank and the media wasn’t allowed to examine them, but his intentions were clear.

“They are not going to discuss [the business] with me,” Trump said of his sons. “Again, I don’t have to do this. They’re not going to discuss it with me.” Of course, few believed a word of it for even a second. Why should they? A shrewd, dishonest businessman who puts wealth, status and power over everything was weeks away from being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Once again, the doubters have been proven right. Quite a few of them were republicans who truly didn’t care or see a conflict of interests as they wanted a businessman in the White House anyway, but the thin veneer separating Trump’s presidency and his business interests is rapidly starting to crumble.

President Trump’s two oldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, took to the morning show circuit this week to promote the latest budget accommodation in the Trump Hotels line, but that didn’t stop them from weighing in on issues surrounding their father’s presidency. While appearing on Good Morning America on Tuesday morning, Eric Trump described the Russian probe as “the greatest hoax of all time,” while his brother, Donald Jr., had some strong words for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, saying that, “Maybe he should do something to fix the problem rather than just sit there and pretend there isn’t one.” Just like their father, the pair also found time to bash the media.

The unsettling news is that, although the pair aren’t technically breaking any laws, they are setting a new, unchartered precedent for future American leaders.

“It’s hard to describe what they’re doing in polite words,” said Mark Foster, a lawyer who specializes in ethics at the firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP. “If he — and this is a loaded term — if he gets away with it, then obviously he sets a new standard for future presidents: ‘It’s OK to do this,’ which I think would be extremely regrettable because it’s never been the standard and it ought not to be the standard,” Foster continued. “But if he does it and gets away with it, then, you know, what president down the road is gonna feel constrained not to set his own standards? There are no standards.”

In an interview with Forbes magazine, Eric Trump claimed that he doesn’t talk politics with his father. “There is kind of a clear separation of church and state that we maintain, and I am deadly serious about that exercise,” he said. “I do not talk about the government with him, and he does not talk about the business with us. That’s kind of a steadfast pact we made, and it’s something that we honor.”

However, just like his father, it didn’t take long for Eric to contradict himself, when he admitted just minutes later that he gives the president business updates. “Yeah, on the bottom line, profitability reports and stuff like that, but you know, that’s about it,” he said, adding when asked how often, “Yeah, probably quarterly.”

Funny, only one quarter has passed since Trump was sworn in as president and what reason do we have to believe a son who is this close to his father? “My father and I are very close,” Eric Trump says. “I talk to him a lot. We’re pretty inseparable.”

“This latest disclosure from Trump’s son that he’s talking about these things is confirmation that the attestations that the president made back in January regarding there being complete separation are a sham,” said Alex Howard, deputy director of the Sunlight Foundation, a government accountability and transparency nonprofit. “Look, I don’t care what you say: Money influences the way you think,” he said. “You know, I tend to think favorably of my clients because they pay me a lot of money. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just human nature — except if I were president of the United States, you wouldn’t want people influencing my thinking by giving me money either directly or indirectly. You’d rather I was thinking about the national interest.”

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization declined to comment, however, hopefully next time voters reconsider putting a businessman in the White House.


Featured image via Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images