Donald Trump’s transition team is in full backpedal mode after his sons Eric and Don Jr. were caught selling access to the president in exchange for a vaguely worded charitable donation.
The Wall Street Journal on a Trump sons organized charity event that renewed concerns about conflicts of interest:
An invitation for a Jan. 21 fundraiser, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, listed Donald Jr. and Eric Trump as “honorary co-chairmen” and said the event would be hosted by the Opening Day Foundation, a nonprofit where the younger Trumps were registered as directors, according to the Texas secretary of state, less than a week ago.
Donors who give $1 million (“Bald Eagle” status) are offered a “private reception and photo opportunity for 16 guests” with Eric and Donald Jr. and a “very special guest”—confirmed by a person familiar with the event as the president-elect. They are also promised a “multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion for 4 guests with Donald Trump Jr. and/or Eric Trump, and team.”
The Center for Public Integrity reported on an earlier version of the invitation that specifically named the president-elect as attending.
The scheme was that the Trump boys were going to sell access to the President Of The United States for $1 million a pop disguised as a charitable donation.
The Trump transition team put out a statement that was full of damage control that managed to make the situation even worse. Hope Hicks, National Press Secretary for the Presidential Transition Team said, “The Opening Day event and details that have been reported are merely initial concepts that have not been approved or pursued by the Trump family. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid outdoorsmen and supporters of conservation efforts, which align with the goals of this event, however they are not involved in any capacity.”
The Trump boys and the president-elect were only thinking about selling access to the White House. They aren’t really involved in selling access to the president in exchange for a “charitable donation” that is lacking in transparency and specifics.
The fact that they were thinking about, or associated with an event like this is anyway is a serious problem.
The scheme highlights one of the main problems with the incoming Trump presidency. It isn’t just Donald Trump who has conflicts of interest that could undermine the presidency. The entire Trump family and the circle of people surrounding them are also a conflict of interest scandal waiting to happen.
It isn’t a matter of if the Trumps will sell out the presidency. The only unanswered questions are when and how the Trump family sales access to the most powerful office in the land.