To What Extent is Trump Really Abusing the Presidency to Get Rich at America’s Expense?

We know that the Philippines, Kuwait, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are among the foreign governments booking large blocks of rooms at the Trump International Hotel with the hopes and intents of currying favor with the President. And we know that foreign lobbyists, particularly from Saudi Arabia, are doing the same.

And we know that Trump’s Mar a Lago resort is raking in American taxpayer dollars by the boatload every time he vacations and holds official government dinners and events there. He flaunts this practice shamelessly and flagrantly, making no bones about it.

These facts have motivated Senator Richard Blumenthal, among 200 democrats, to sue Trump for violating the Constitution’s Domestic and Foreign Emoluments clause. Most basically, these clauses are designed to prevent anyone occupying the Presidency from exploiting the power and influence the accompanying the office to enrich oneself.

And, of course, Trump’s conversations with Russia regarding his pursuit of a vainly self-named tower in Moscow continued, he purportedly acknowledged, through his presidential campaign up until the November 2019 election day.
I worry there’s a lot we don’t know, though, in terms of the extent to which Trump is really abusing his office to accumulate wealth at the expense of the nation’s population he is supposed to serve.

Let me explain what I’m talking about by presenting the following incidents:

*A Bloomberg headline from May 6 reads: “Trump Trade Tweets Send Grain Markets Driving to 42-Year Low.” In the tweet, Trump threatened to escalate the trade war he is waging with China.

*On April 26, CNBC published a story with the following headline: “Top OPEC, Saudi officials didn’t discuss lowering oil prices with Trump: report.” Trump had tweeted earlier that day, “Spoke to Saudi Arabia and others about increasing oil flow. All are in agreement.” This tweet caused oil prices to tumble—and oil stocks with them.

Consider Trump’s power to influence the market just through his tweets. The stock market, we all know, is a sensitive and volatile instrument that swiftly and strongly responds to rumors, whispers, and reports without taking time to verify the truth of any utterances. Elon Musk was fined $20 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for tweeting about the possibility of taking his company, Tesla, private.

There is no such sanction for the President, who could very well be using the Presidency not so much as a bully pulpit but as a market-moving pulpit from which he, his businesses, and his circle of cronies could easily benefit.
Trump has without question showcased his tendency to use the Presidency to further his interests, even at the expense of our nation’s population and security.

Indeed, the expense to people in the United States clear. While Trump, for example, sees

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