Economy & Politics

Trump Conflicts of Interest in the White House: The Trump System

Donald Trump’s presidency ends on January 20th.imago images / MediaPunch

In the last few weeks of his tenure, US media reports put Donald Trump into trouble again. According to Business Insider, a mailbox company reportedly paid the Trump family and put $ 617 million into the president’s election campaign. The mailbox company, which runs under the name “American Made Media Consultants” (short: AMMC), seems to be a true family business: Trump’s son-in-law is said to have helped build the company, Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump shared with John Pence, nephew of Vice President Mike Pence, General Manager.

According to the New York Times, the company was founded primarily to disguise the flow of funds from the Trump campaign. AMMC was used to pay for TV advertisements, among other things. According to the New York Times, more than 700 million euros have flowed through the mailbox company since the beginning of 2019. In October, Lara Trump and John Pence retired from the management.

The allegation of money laundering has already been raised in connection with AMMC. An impartial organization filed a complaint with the state electoral board. The charge: The Trump campaign is said to have laundered $ 170 million. AMMC is said to have received $ 106 million of this, reports Forbes magazine.

It is not the first time since Trump has been US President that there are at least doubts as to whether he is not using his office to enrich himself and his family. Trump’s hotels and golf resorts, which benefited in one way or another from the decisions of the US president, caused a stir. It all began with the inauguration: Trump’s Washington hotel received a million dollars from a fundraising committee to host the celebration.

Happy bills for the secret services

During his tenure, Donald Trump spent much of his time at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida golf club. A Secret Service team must be on site wherever the President is. While this stayed with other presidents for free, the secret service had to pay hefty sums for the stays. The Washington Post reports that the Secret Service was charged room rates of up to $ 650 per night in 2017. The secret service had to pay as much as $ 17,000 a month for a cottage on the grounds of Trump’s golf club in New Jersey. Not only is it unusual for the Secret Service to have to pay for the stay at all – the rent is also about twice as high as usual in the area.

The Trump International Hotel in Washington was meanwhile the central point of contact for all those who wanted to get on well with the US president. Lobbyists, business people and statesmen are said to have rented rooms here, some of which are said to have never been occupied. According to the New York Times, the Trump Victory Committee is said to have paid 710,000 US dollars to the “Trump Hotel Collection”.

The vice-president’s business trip to Ireland shows how closely the links between politics and Trump companies are. On his trip to Doonbeg, Mike Pence stayed at a Trump hotel – even though, according to the Control Committee, it was a full 290 kilometers from the political appointments in Dublin. The stay is said to have brought the Trump company several thousand dollars in sales.

During his tenure in office, Donald Trump did not shy away from combining the business with the political – or at least trying to do so. The US president wanted to hold the G7 summit in one of his own hotels – a golf hotel in Miami. The fact that this did not happen in the end was mainly due to critical voices from his own party.

Commitment to Ivanka Trump

Donald Trump also stood up for his daughter Ivanka as president. Ivanka Trump stepped down from the management of her fashion company and put the assets into a family-managed fund, but continued to make a profit from her company’s operations. Possible conflicts of interest with your work in the White House seem obvious. How obvious was it when Donald Trump openly campaigned for his daughter in 2017 after the department store chain Nordstrom took its clothing line out of its range. He raged on Twitter: “My daughter Ivanka was treated so unfairly by Nordstrom. She is such a wonderful person – she always makes me do the right things! Dreadful!”

Ivanka’s firm registered numerous patents in China during Trump’s tenure. That is not necessarily objectionable yet, but China approved the last of these patents just when Donald Trump was negotiating a deal with the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE to exempt it from sanctions.

Ivanka Trump also benefited financially from her father’s presidency: As the New York Times reports, around $ 100,000 went to Ivanka Trump’s stylists as business expenses. In addition, the president’s daughter received an advisory income of almost $ 750,000. That amount is exactly the same as the amount Trump deducted from his taxes, according to the New York Times Post.

Provisions for the time after?

On January 20, Donald Trump will hand over the White House to his successor Joe Biden. With the runoff election in Georgia, however, there is still an important decision to be made – namely, whether the two Republican senators can defend their seats and whether the Republicans will retain a majority in the Senate. Donald Trump calls for donations for the Georgia Election Fund, donations that – if you believe the name – should go to the Senators in Georgia. But the majority of the money – a full 75 percent, as Forbes reports – will go to Trump’s new Political Action Committee called “Save America”, 25 percent will go to the Republican National Committee. The senators themselves don’t get anything.

And beyond that, Trump also seems to be making financial provisions for the time after the White House: Since November 3, he and his election campaign team have collected an impressive $ 250 million in donations. According to the New York Times, 60 million of this should have flowed into a political committee over which Donald Trump should take control once he leaves office. According to the New York Times, he could then use the money, among other things, to pay for his trips and rallies, hire staff, finance processes – but also to prepare a possible candidacy for 2024.

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