It appears Donald Trump’s penchant for lying is only getting better after being elected the next president of the United States.
The president-elect, notorious for voicing opinions and peddling lies during his campaign with impunity, appears to have been emboldened in taking this approach to another level. Among the quagmire of confusion that engulfed the American electorate after Donald Trump was chosen the winner of the presidential election, one of the most recurring doubts among economists, and even swathes of the common people, was how would Trump — a business magnate and the owner of a number of brands — avoid a conflict of interest after taking to the White House.
This question was, of course, also raised sporadically during the campaign trail itself, to which Donald Trump’s staffers and family responded with even more confusion. For instance, when George Stephanopoulos asked Donald Trump Jr. on ABC’s Good Morning America how his father intended to steer himself away from the conflict of interest that would invariably rise if he was elected president back in September, the heir-in-waiting’s reply was as ludicrous as it was ignorant.
But while Donald Trump Jr. was mocked for not even knowing what a “blind trust” was at the time, which essentially requires the creator to liquidate his entire wealth or sell it, the questions that were asked of him that day assume a lot more significance now that his father has actually been elected. It is an issue which must be comprehensively dissected, because the American people deserve to know if their president has the interest of the nation at heart.
To confront this problem, and offer a possible solution, Donald Trump decided to pay lip service on his favorite platform — Twitter. On Wednesday, the president-elect took to the micro-blogging site to vow that he would desert his business operations “in total,” a phrase that was widely reported in the media for its vagueness.
The Washington Post and the Guardian followed up the tweet with detailed articles about how difficult it would be for Donald Trump to set his business aside for the interests of the nation, and then went about proving why it won’t be as simple as Trump makes it out be in the tweet.
A few days before Donald Trump had vowed to leave behind his business empire on Twitter, reports emerged about his meeting with Indian businessmen who categorically told the New York Times that they expected to leverage Trump’s presidency into expanding their partnership, and consequently his business, in the Indian subcontinent. Around the same time, Ivanka Trump was seen in a meeting with foreign leaders, raising further doubts about how exactly did Trump plan to distance himself from his business operations.
In fact, the business interests of the Trump Organization will cross paths with the U.S. Government on multiple occasions, and it would be naive to assume that Donald Trump will have no influence as leader of the free world. The sheer hypocrisy of Trump’s declaration, coupled with the leeway that he is being awarded, should be enough to bring the American people out of their stupor before it is too late.
A fine instance of this conflict of interest was seen just two days after Donald Trump vowed to leave his business “in total,” when he broke with decades of U.S. foreign policy by speaking with the leader of Taiwan. While the move in itself was controversial considering that it was bound to anger China, and it absolutely did, the matter attained even more significance when it was revealed that Donald Trump had property interests in the region and had inquired about possible investments through a woman named Tsai Ing-wen, a businesswoman claiming to be associated with Trump’s conglomerate.
“She said she was associated with the Trump corporation and she would like to propose a possible investment project in the future, especially hotels,” an official familiar with the plan told the Guardian on conditions of anonymity.
“One thing quite sure from her side was that she would like to bring the Trump corporation here to build the hotel.”
This revelation sheds a disconcerting light on Donald Trump’s role in his conglomerate once he takes office as the next president of the United States. His involvement, which he has sworn to abdicate, might be so influential as to have a direct bearing on the United States’ foreign policy in the long-term, and that won’t be a good thing.
[Featured Image by Ty Wright/Getty Images]