Now that America’s intelligence community has finally revealed it is “officially” investigating the corruption plaguing Trump’s administration for what can arguably be called collusion to commit espionage against the United States of America, the Trump is probably wishing he could flee and hide out at one of his high-priced resort properties. It is what he tends to spend his weekends doing and there is a reason that warrants a deeper, more comprehensive investigation into the corrupt “businessman’s” gross conflicts of interest.
It is noteworthy to state right now that there is nothing whatsoever wrong with a White House occupant spending taxpayer money to fly out for a weekend getaway, even if it is every weekend and even if they were overly critical of the previous administration’s occasional trips. However, in Donald Trump’s case he is personally profiting with every golfing excursion, every luncheon date and his family’s business trips and the taxpayers are pouring their tax dollars directly into the Trump organization’s treasury; a treasury fully owned and controlled by Donald Trump.
Of course, every president is accompanied by a retinue of aides and high paid security teams. George W. Bush hauled a fair number of government employees with him every time he flew down to do ranch work in Crawford Texas. And Barack Obama was accompanied by a similar team as Bush when he vacationed in Hawaii or Camp David, or took short weekend or day trips to play golf. The glaringly obvious difference between Bush’s and President Obama’s excursions, no matter the purpose, and Trump is that Messieurs Bush and Obama did not personally profit because their entourage of staff, aides and security details did not stay at businesses they owned or profited from. That is not the case with Trump and the greater outrage is that Trump’s family members are filling the organization’s coffers with taxpayer money when they travel around the world to conduct Trump business and stay at Trump properties with their taxpayer-funded security details.
The idea of Trump personally profiting off of the taxpayers footing the bill for his staff and related personnel is not new for the corrupt con man. In December this column reported that after boasting he could make millions in profits if he ran for president, the Trump made about $12.5 million for the Trump organization during the 2016 presidential campaign. And, let’s get something straight right now; Trump still controls all aspects, including profits from living in the White House, of the organization. He only gave his boys day-to-day managerial duties instead of completely divesting, as in complete liquidation, of all of his businesses and assets like the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board said he had to if he wanted to remain above suspicion for unethical behavior and gross conflicts of interest. Trump didn’t listen, and he is already being labeled the most corrupt president in American history after barely two months in office.
There are far too many examples of Trump personally profiting off of his position to cite in one opinion piece, but it is worth looking at his frequent trips to Florida to wine-and-dine with his elitist club members, and government dignitaries, at his Mar-a-Lago resort at a cost of roughly $3.5 million per trip. That cost is a burden on taxpayers to lodge and feed Trump’s staff and Secret Service detail with all profits going directly to Donald Trump as owner of the resort.
There is a similar scenario playing out in New York where Mrs. Trump opted to stay, at Trump Towers, instead of taking up residence in the White House like a family values-oriented “Christian” the Trump claims his family is. Not only are taxpayers paying the Trump organization for a Trump to stay there, they are paying for the taxpayer-funded, round-the-clock in-house Secret Service security detail; Mrs. Trump’s secret service detail certainly aren’t staying down the boulevard at the local Holiday Inn. Now, if Trump had liquidated his holdings, the cost for his wife to stay in New York may have been the same, but he would not be personally profiting. By the way, the estimated cost to taxpayers for Mrs. Trump to shun the White House is about $146,000 every day. As of March 17, taxpayers already paid out about $8.3 million for Trump’s family to stay in New York and every last penny of profit went directly to Donald Trump. That figure doesn’t include the extreme cost to New Yorkers to provide police protection in and around the Trump fortress.
It is true that regardless where Trump vacationed, or played golf, or held campaign rallies barely two months in office, his traveling troupe would be in tow for every trip. And it is equally true that taxpayers would pick up the tab. However, it is beyond the pale that no-one is screaming bloody murder that he is personally profiting at taxpayers’ expense while playing golf even as he’s rejoicing at the prospect of taking healthcare, medicine, food, housing, education and Americans’ retirement accounts from hardworking Americans – many of them his loyal supporters.
One is seriously mystified why the American people are not storming the gates of the White House demanding Trump’s head on a stake. It is also curious that as they learn their healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and every last domestic program is being slashed into obscurity for austerity’s sake, they aren’t demanding that Republicans throw Trump out of office for being a hypocrite, a liar and swindler for profiting off the office they elected him to.
Trump is as bad an actor on myriad levels as any savage criminal, and not just for colluding with a hostile foreign power in what sane people call treason. However, treason aside, he is literally robbing taxpayers of their hard-earned dollars with impunity because his Republican facilitators are either too mortified, or too corrupt themselves, to investigate and prosecute him out of office for gross ethical violations and conflicts of interest. Getting rid of Trump is the only way to stop this vile criminal from profiting off the office of the president.