President-elect Donald Trump waded into uncharted waters today at his first press conference since he won the November election.
Unfortunately, the Trump plan outlined to address conflicts of interest falls far short of what he needed to do. His decision to try to follow the narrowest letter of the law, rather than abide by the high ethical standards Americans expect of their president, is disappointing and potentially damaging to his presidency.
He is to become the leader of the free world, yet he failed to recognize that what may be good for himself, his family and his business empire is not necessarily good for the American people. He’s blind to his own conflicts of interest and tone deaf to his own pledge to drain the swamp.
While we continue to review the President-elect’s plan, Issue One Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy shared her initial thoughts:
Issue One will remain vigilant to conflicts of interest in the White House and Congress and hold the president and our elected representatives accountable to the promise to “drain the swamp.”
Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub, while speaking at the Brookings Institution, had this to say:
OGE director Walter Shaub on Trump’s business exit: “The plan does not comport with the tradition of our presidents over the past 40 years.”
— John Wagner (@WPJohnWagner) January 11, 2017
Constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe also weighed in. He has been analyzing the plan on Twitter:
2/ Trump’s announced structure is cleverly designed to dazzle and deceive, but it solves none of the serious ethical or legal issues.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 11, 2017
Issue: Executive Branch Ethics