The question of whether Donald Trump would enrich himself off of the presidency has been looming, especially as his media surrogates have gone from saying he'll put his assets in a blind trust without actually meaning it to just calling the idea of a blind trust unfair to his children. And now in what's sure to continue to be an issue for the next four years, foreign diplomats are talking about staying at Trump's Washington, D.C. hotel so they can curry favor with him.
The Washington Post has a story about foreign diplomats who packed the Trump International Hotel for a pitch on all the wonders it has to offer. There was Trump-branded champagne, there was free food and there were raffles that included, of course, free stays in Trump hotels all around the world. Just in case you were worried that the diplomats in attendance saw staying at and praising the Trump International as a way to curry favor with the President-elect, you should keep worrying a lot, because your fears were confirmed multiple times.
"Believe me, all the delegations will go there,” one unnamed Middle Eastern diplomat told the paper. Another one, from Asia envisioned a future where he stayed at the hotel and told Trump how much he loved it. "Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’” he asked rhetorically.
Another diplomat said he could see Trump going over the guest logs himself to see who stays there, which was supposed to demonstrate the "personal interest he takes in his businesses" as opposed to a concerning view the rest of the world takes when it comes to the President-elect's priorities.
While high-ranking diplomats themselves don't usually stay in hotels when visiting Washington, the Post notes that their staff usually do so and can take up entire floors at a time, an arrangement that's incredibly lucrative for the city's hotels. The Post also reports that there's no current ethics law against diplomats spending huge amounts of money at Trump properties while he's president.
The Wall Street Journal called on Trump to liquidate his company and put the assets in a true blind trust, and to put the trust in his children's names if he's really worried about them starving.
If he decides not to do this, the Journal suggests that "mixing money and politics could undermine his pledge to 'drain the swamp' in Washington. If a backlash allows Democrats to retake the House in 2018, Mr. Trump and his business colleagues would field subpoenas from the House Oversight Committee."
See, crybaby liberals worried about things like "The president enriching himself with his position at the expense of the country's wellbeing" aren't the only ones crying foul about this and other future ethical morasses.