A stunning report published Tuesday by The New York Times revealed that Donald Trump used the power of the presidency to pressure a foreign government into ginning up business for his golf resort in Scotland.
According to the report, “The American ambassador to Britain, Robert Wood Johnson IV, told multiple colleagues in February 2018 that President Trump had asked him to see if the British government could help steer the world-famous and lucrative British Open golf tournament to the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, according to three people with knowledge of the episode.”
As Rachel Maddow pointed out on Tuesday, this scheme to rake in a massive amount of money for his golf resort is similar to the Ukraine scandal over which he was impeached last year.
In this case, Trump was seeking a favor that would put money directly in his pocket, as opposed to a political favor related to his current Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.
“He wanted the British government to help put money in his pocket by sending major, major business to his golf resort in Britain,” Maddow said. “He directed employees of the U.S. State Department that they should talk to the British government about drumming up business for his resort. ”
Rachel Maddow explains another bombshell piece of reporting from The New York Times that reveals Trump pressured a foreign government to drum up business for his golf resort in Scotland. #ctl #p2 #maddow pic.twitter.com/8sTnf7K8I8
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) July 22, 2020
I know what you’re thinking, right? President Trump using his power as president, using the U.S. government, to pressure a foreign government to do him a favor, using the office of the presidency to benefit himself. Career civil servants forced from their posts after raising alarms about what was happening. We have seen a version of the movie before, right, we have. The last time it ended with him being impeached in December. But what this new report in The New York Times tonight describes does differ from the Ukraine debacle in one key way. When President Trump was pressuring the Ukrainian government, using the powers of the U.S. government to pressure the Ukrainian government to give him dirt on Joe Biden that he could use in the election, he was pushing that foreign government for a political favor. What he appears to have been trying to get from the British government here was money, was a business favor for his business, was a basically a personal financial favor that would put money in his own pocket. He wanted the British government to help put money in his pocket by sending major, major business to his golf resort in Britain. And so he used the presidency, he used the U.S. government, he directed employees of the U.S. State Department that they should talk to the British government about drumming up business for his resort. So far the White House has no comment on this reporting from The Times.
The American people must do what Republicans refused to do: Remove Trump from office
Donald Trump behaves this way in part because it’s the way he’s conducted himself his entire life. It’s just who he is. To Trump, all that matters is lining his pockets, no matter what laws are skirted or people are hurt along the way.
Since becoming president, however, Trump has the added bonus of being protected by a Republican Party that has no problem with his constant abuses of power for personal or political gain.
The end result of Trump’s foreign pressure scheme with Ukraine was impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. But it was followed by a quick acquittal via the Senate GOP’s sham trial.
In November, voters will have the opportunity to rewrite the end of that story and do what Republicans refused to do when it mattered most: remove Donald Trump from office.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.