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Friday, 11 November 2016 14:59
Trump's success depends upon his branding business conflicts of interest
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trump smokeI have frequently mentioned that Donald Trump would have a serious conflict-of-interest issue should he be elected President of the United States.

When doing so, I have often received responses such as well, "what about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation"?

Yes, those responses were legitimate.  Never doubted the concerns being raised by anti-Clinton advocates, although I questioned the proof of some of the allegations being made against her and the foundation.   Perhaps worse, the Clintons never clearly explained what they would do to remove these potential or real conflicts, both should Hillary have become president.  The notion that she would be president and her family would continue to run the foundation, was a public relations disaster ready happen, if not, to continue.

Obviously, whatever they do with the Clinton Foundation at this moment is not relevant to our governmental process.  Hillary lost.

However, the focus towards potential conflicts of interests are not abated and while many of Donald Trump's supporters had no interest in even discussing the issue being raised about their candidate, now, his victory necessarily results in our continued focus.  After all, he is now the president-elect.

The major problem that he, as President and we as his loyal subjects, will have is basic.  He evaded revealing his income taxes while a candidate.  We were unable to see potential conflicts on many fronts.  At issue, we have no idea who his international and national partners might be and if any of them might pose a conflict or embarrassment of any kind.

Today, Bloomberg and other publications presented more information that many of us might want to review on this topic.  Trump will have a difficult time navigating through many of the conflict pitfalls unless he takes action now.   The problem is, he is not just any future president.  He has always self-touted his very successful businesses, his immense wealth and the expansive holdings around the world.  This country has never had a president with such financial success, such broad international assets, and obligations, from hotels to golf courses to products manufactured pushing his brand.

The election is over, Trump has won and he has a chance to make his mark and press the Trump brand upon the country’s future.  The last thing he needs is to undermine his efforts to change America.  The last thing he needs is to create self-imposed controversies that turn into scandals. 

Half the country voted for his opponent and whether justified or not, they are angry.  Some want revenge.  Others want him to be embarrassed.  And some of us actually want him to be very successful for it would only spell our own nation’s continued advances.

The choice really is his.  He should not put off the decision how to completely disassociate himself from all of his assets.  Putting his ownership interests into his kid's control might be the easy thing for him to do.  The problem with this solution is obvious.  His lack of credibility as a person competed fiercely with that of Hillary Clinton’s.   After the euphoria of a victory lifts, he will be under tremendous scrutiny to succeed with his far-reaching agenda.  The last thing he will need is to undermine his momentum with repeated claims of self-serving his own or even his children’s business interests. 

At some point in time, the issue will be before the nation and his popularity will have waned.  He would be well-advised to get ahead of the charges against him now whether he believes they are legitimate or not.

Trump  claims he wants to make America great again.  I don't doubt his sincerity.  But first, he first must prove that he will not put himself into the sorry situation where his executive actions create another great American scandal, again.

The choice is his.


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