Donald Trump never met an emoluments clause that he didn’t completely ignore.
While the U.S. Constitution clearly prohibits the president or any other federal officeholders from profiting from foreign governments, canny world leaders — knowing that the best way to remain in Trump’s good graces is to funnel money into his businesses — have made it a regular practice to spend lavishly at Trump-branded properties with their money going straight into the Trump Organization’s coffers.
While other presidents either divested themselves of businesses that could pose a conflict of interest or placed them in blind trusts, Trump has refused to do so, leading to lawsuits from ethics organizations and Democrats in Congress.
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Now, Trump is readying what may be his biggest violation of the emoluments clause yet, by planning on hosting the next G-7 summit — or G-8, if he succeeds in his fervent desire to ignore the wishes of the other six members of the group and invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the next series of meetings — at his failing Trump National Doral Miami golf resort.
With revenue at that particular property having plummeted 69% since Trump took office, the president came up with what he obviously thought was a brilliant idea to raise the financial outlook for his Miami resort. If only the whole scheme wasn’t so patently illegal.
Trump gave reporters his sales spiel for his property during the current G-7 summit in Biarritz, France this weekend.
“They love the location of the hotel,” portraying its noisy proximity to the airport as a positive. “We haven’t found anything that’s even close to competing with it. Really you can be there in a matter of minutes after you land.”