One of the questions that a Trump Administration was bound to face if Donald Trump won the election was what exactly happens to his sprawling multinational real estate company so that he doesn't enrich himself with his position. Well, Trump won, and the answer coming out of the Trump camp at the moment doesn't exactly paint a pretty picture of the future, unless you're really into studying kleptocracies.
Michael Cohen, EVP of the Trump organization, says if he goes to Washington, Trump's children will run the company https://t.co/YQ0HFR7NuU
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 10, 2016
In an interview on CNN this morning, Trump Organization executive vice president Michael Cohen said that we shouldn't worry about potential conflicts of interest with President Trump and the Trump Organization, because his assets will be in a blind trust. A blind trust controlled by his children.
"We're gonna do it legally, it's gonna be placed into a blind trust," Cohen said, right after stating that "The children, Don, Ivanka, Eric" would run the Trump Organization. Just in case you were unsure of whether the Trump camp had complete contempt for you, Cohen emphasized that Trump didn't run in 2012 because he didn't think his children were ready to run his company for him, the company that Cohen 30 seconds before had said would be in a blind trust, legally.
By definition, a blind trust is run by an independent caretaker, who doesn't tell the owner of the assets what he or she is doing with them. Putting your children in charge of an organization with your name on it is about as far from a blind trust as you can get. Especially when that company has real estate and other investments around the country and the world, including investments that could run up against U.S. sanctions.
Sources tell CNBC that "Ivanka would run the hotels, Donald Jr. would run the golf properties and Eric would run the winery and new development projects." (Sorry Tiffany, your father is only sort of proud of you.)
Enriching yourself through your public service was a (fair) criticism leveled at the Clinton Foundation, and was one of the factors that made Hillary Clinton's time at the State Department a weakness for her in the election. Say what you will about the Clinton Foundation's works around the world, but the Trump Organization makes it look like Meals on Wheels in comparison.
"Will we be able to appease everybody? The answer is no," Cohen said dismissively. Which might as well be the motto of the Trump presidency going forward.