Trump Announces He Will ‘Leave His Business,’ But Provides Few Details

Donald Trump says he will 'leave his business,' but is providing very few details and continuing to leave the impression that he will enter office with more conflicts of interest than any previous President in American history.

Trump Tower

In a series of early morning tweets, Donald Trump has said that he will “leave his business” prior to assuming the Presidency on January 20th:

President-elect Donald J. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he would soon leave his “great business in total” to focus on the presidency, a response to growing worries over the businessman-in-chief’s conflicts of interest around the globe.

The announcement marks a turn from Trump’s months-long refusal to distance himself from his private business while holding the highest public office.

But it remained unclear whether the new arrangement would include a full sale of Trump’s stake or, as he has offered before, a ceding of company management to his children, which ethics advisors have said would not resolve worries that the business could still influence his decisions in the Oval Office.

“I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted.

“While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses. Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!”

Presidents are not bound by the strict conflict-of-interest laws governing most U.S. elected officials. But most modern presidents have agreed to sell or sequester their assets in a “blind trust,” led by an independent manager with supreme control, in order to keep past business deals, investments and relationships from influencing their White House term.

Giving company management to his children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka — would still leave open the potential for Trump to make presidential decisions for their benefit. The children have already played a key part in Trump’s governing preparations, serving on the transition team now selecting key appointees and sitting in on meetings with foreign heads of state.

Trump spokespeople did not immediately return request for more details on the move. But Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, said the move did not appear to offer enough of a division to keep entanglement worries at bay.

“That’s business operations, not ownership. The problem is, we need to resolve the conflicts of interest that arise from his ownership. And we’re hearing nothing about how that’s getting resolved,” Painter said.

“Even if he does not operate the businesses, you’re going to have lots of people working for the business running around the world trying to cut deals,” Painter added. “And it’s critical that none of those people discuss U.S. business in a way that could be interpreted, or misinterpreted, of offering quid pro quo … or soliciting a bribe on the part of the president.”

Here are Trump’s Tweets from this morning:

There are obviously a whole host of questions that abound in the wake of this announcement, most of which cannot be answered until we know for sure what exactly it is that Trump has in mind for the future operation of the conglomeration of corporations, limited liability companies, and general and limited partnerships that make up the umbrella organization known as The Trump Organization. Is Trump going to sell his interest in the businesses to his children, for example, or is he going to retain his ownership interest and merely turn over management and control to a third-party? If it’s the second option, then who is going to assume operation of the companies for the next four or eight years while he is President? Until these and other questions are answered, it will be impossible to say for sure if the moves Trump is taking will be sufficient to deal with the myriad conflicts of interest he would face upon becoming President of the United States.

For months now, Trump has said that the most likely outcome would be that his three oldest children, each of whom is already involved in running the company in some respect, would take over his roles and it now appears that it would be his daughter Ivanka who would become the primary face of the company. The problem with this arrangement is rather obvious. The idea that there would really be much of a barrier between President Donald Trump and the operation of his businesses is simply absurd. As it stands, Ivanka and the rest of the children with the exception of his youngest son have been deeply involved in both the campaign and the transition while continuing in their jobs at The Trump Organization. During that time it’s been hard to tell the difference between their roles as advisers to their father on a political level and their jobs at The Trump Organization. For example, when Trump met with the Prime Minister of Japan earlier this month, Ivanka Trump sat in on the meetings. Additionally, shortly after winning the Presidential election on November 8th, Trump met with a group of Indian businessmen involved in a project that The Trump Organization has undertaken in that country. Earlier in the month, when he took a courtesy call from the Prime Minister of India, Trump reportedly mentioned problems that the project was having obtaining cooperation from government officials, thus making it unclear where he saw his roles as President-Elect and owner and Chairman of The Trump Organization divided themselves and potentially creating the impression that the way to curry favor with a Trump Presidency in the future will be to give special accommodation to Trump and his business interests around the globe. The idea that a reorganization where Trump hands over operation of The Trump Organization to his children will sufficiently alleviate the rather obvious conflicts of interest that he will be entering office with, therefore, is rather silly.

Even if Trump were to bring someone in from outside the Trump family to run his companies, the conflict of interest problems will continue to exist if Trump retains his ownership interest in the companies. As principal owner of The Trump Organization, Trump receives obvious benefits from the successes of the various businesses that the company operations through, and suffers losses if the Organization suffers losses. Given that he’s been operating this business for some three decades now, it’s obvious that he knows what assets the company holds, where it has business operations around the world, and what projects it is undertaking. This is the precise opposite of the kind of “blind trust” that previous Presidents, including George H.W. and George W. Bush and President Obama, have placed their investment and other income-producing assets during the time they served as President. If Trump knows how his decisions as President will impact his interests as an owner of The Trump Organization and whoever is running The Trump Organization will have a fairly good idea of how their decisions will impact the personal fortune of the President of the United States. The same will be true of foreign governments and businesses seeking to curry favor with the American government, many of whom will assume, rightly or wrongly, that the way to get what they want is to bend over backward to give breaks to Trump-branded businesses even though Trump himself isn’t the one making the deals.

Trump faces another legal problem if he retains his ownership interest in The Trump Organization after becoming President, and it involves the hotel his company is on the verge of opening just a few blocks away from the White House:

Among Donald Trump’s many potential conflicts of interest, one stands out: His organization’s lease with the federal government to redevelop and run a luxury hotel in the iconic Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol.

How, critics wondered, could President Trump become his own landlord?

Now comes a new twist: Two federal procurement experts are arguing that not only will Trump have an ethics challenge — he will be in violation of the terms of the lease as soon as he takes the oath of office.

Steven L. Schooner, a professor of government procurement law at the George Washington University Law School, and Daniel I. Gordon, a senior advisor to GW’s Government Procurement Law Program (and President Obama’s first administrator for federal procurement policy) pointed out this week in Government Executive magazine that a provision in Trump’s lease with the General Services Administration states that “No … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom…”

“To protect the integrity of the federal government’s procurement process, GSA must end its lease arrangement with President-elect Trump now,” the experts argue.

The GSA, which runs federal government real estate, declined to discuss the specifics when contacted by NBC News.

“GSA plans to coordinate with the President-elect’s team to address any issues that may be related to the Old Post Office building,” spokeswoman Renee Kelly said in a statement.

“GSA ran a fair and open competition, subject to careful and rigorous review, which resulted in the selection of the Trump Organization as the preferred private sector entity to redevelop the Old Post Office. GSA negotiated a lease with the Trump Organization and submitted the details to Congress prior to signing the lease in August 2013,” Kelly added.

The federal conflicts of interest law prohibits government officials from using their governmental authority in ways that will help their financial interests, but that law does not apply to the president.

Trump has dismissed concerns about his business ties, telling the New York Times, “The president can’t have a conflict of interest.”

But whatever the law says, the lease is clear, Schooner and Gordon say.

“The language could not be any more specific or clear,” they write, having first raised the issue in a November 15 op-ed in the Washington Post. “Donald Trump will breach the contract on Jan. 20, when, while continuing to benefit from the lease, he will become an `elected official of the Government of the United States.'”

“The situation is a casebook example of both the appearance of a significant conflict of interest and an intolerable intermingling of an elected official’s governmental duties and his family’s personal financial interests.”

The Trump transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The ideal solution to all these problems and real and potential conflicts of interest, of course, would be for Trump to sell his interest in The Trump Organization and place the proceeds in a blind trust controlled by a Trustee, just as every President in recent memory has done. In Trump’s case that is easier said than done in the short term at least since the majority of his assets appear to be in the form of real-estate and investments in real estate projects that are not easy to liquidate. Even if he had started the process on Election Day, it could take months or more before Trump was completely divested of all his Trump business holdings, and the prospect of a sitting President negotiating the sale of his assets creates many of the same conflicts of interest that would exist if Trump retained ownership of his assets during his Presidency.

We’ll have to wait until December 15th to find out exactly what it is that Trump has in mind, but as it stands now it still appears that President-Elect Trump will enter office with a myriad of conflicts of interest that will likely call nearly every decision he makes into question, with nearly every story about such decisions likely focusing on how, if at all, Trump and his businesses would benefit from the decision in question. This is the kind of ethical quandry that can only lead to trouble in the future, both for the Trump Presidency and the nation.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Alameda says:

    Certainly as a private businessman ethics have never much concerned him. Even now, I’m not sure that Trump has to care at all. He has the Senate and House in hand, and he has indicated that he really does not have to play by most rules.

    I suspect, actually expect, that he will move everything into a kind of sham blind trust/management operation, and we’ll move on from there.

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    “legal documents are being crafted”

    Yadda Yadda Yadda . . . .

  3. MarkedMan says:

    Treating Trump’s statements and promises as “news” is part of the problem. He reached 100% on the Frankfurt BS scale long ago. Nothing he says has any meaning.

    That said, Trump’s business is about to leave him. Trump has plastered his name on hundreds of structures all over the world. A high percentage of them aren’t really his, he just rents his name out. He is now the president of the great Satan, and has insulted Muslims and Islam repeatedly and loudly. It seems very likely that every one of those “Trump” signs has just become a bullseye. I expect dozens of building owners will break their contract and take the name off. And although I wouldn’t stay at a Trump named facility on principle before, now I won’t even set foot in one due to safety concerns. I imagine it won’t be long before incidents cause the general public to feel the same.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    This means nothing.
    Trump knows where he has interests. And others know where he has interests.
    When Pakistan and India start firing on each other the US cannot be seen as an honest broker because Trump has interests in India.
    At the Dakota Pipeline protest Trump cannot be seen to act fairly because he has interests with the pipeline company.
    When Argentina green-lights a long stalled building project after meeting with the newly elected President it’s obvious what is happening.
    But the most troubling thing here is the Republican Congress’ sudden complete disinterest in oversight. If they refuse to act there is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop the Cheeto-Jesus.
    No one will have standing to bring a court case. And even if they do he will own the SCOTUS.
    And, of course, as the Cheeto himself said:

    there can’t be a conflict; I’m the President.

    This guy is un-stoppable.
    We will be a Banana Republic in no time at all.
    Dark days…

  5. SenyorDave says:

    A lifetime of professional and personal dishonesty. And his answer is basically “trust me”. Please let me know when the country has woken up from this bad dream.

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Even conveying the business ownership to his children still presents a conflict of interest. His only ethical option is to sell it entirely.

  7. Pete S says:

    I only read this as a concession that he will not be going to work at the Trump Organization while treating being president as a part time gig. Not even a hint that he will actually divest himself of those interests.

  8. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m not holding my breath waiting for him to sell. In any case, how does he sell what he doesn’t actually own: the goods/properties to which he’s licensed his name? This is the guy who claims his “brand” is worth $10 billion.

  9. C. Clavin says:

    Smoke Screen
    noun

    1: a screen of smoke to hinder enemy observation of a military force, area, or activity

    2: something designed to obscure, confuse, or mislead

    Emphasis, mine.

  10. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Oh, we’ll see the moon turn blue first. He’ll never sell.

    It’s actually closer to $5 billion. His own presentation of his net worth – which falls into the $10 billion range, includes some $5 billion of goodwill – which frankly is ludicrous. Literally half of the man’s claim of wealth is intangible.

  11. Pete S says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Even if he wanted to sell, would he ever find a buyer willing to pay him what he thinks his name is worth?

  12. michael reynolds says:

    We’ll have to wait until December 15th to find out exactly what it is that Trump has in mind

    Oh, the wait will be much longer than that. Trump doesn’t have anything in his cramped little mind but instinct and need. He doesn’t ‘mean’ anything. He has no plan. He’s given it no thought whatsoever. He reacts. And he reacts without the slightest thought given to anything but his desperate neediness.

    The future Most Powerful Man on Earth is not capable of formulating plans for anything that does not involve his own aggrandizement. The world is slowly, slowly coming to realize that our future POTUS is a pathological liar, a man incapable of separating fact from fraud, a man whose word means nothing at all and whose statements should be disregarded as the random eruptions of a bratty child.

  13. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: And even that $5B I doubt, considering the amount of debt he undoubtedly carries, plus his tendency to value his properties while ignoring the amounts of mortgages he has on them.

    Someone who was really worth $5B wouldn’t have been piddling around with things like Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka.

    I doubt he’s even worth $1B, frankly.

  14. SenyorDave says:

    @HarvardLaw92: It’s actually closer to $5 billion. His own presentation of his net worth – which falls into the $10 billion range, includes some $5 billion of goodwill – which frankly is ludicrous. Literally half of the man’s claim of wealth is intangible.

    To be fair, his intangibles might be worth $5 billion. The US budget is in the $4 trillion range. A tenth of a percent of that is $4 billion, a hundredth of a percent of $400 million. An accomplished con man like Trump should be able to grift a tenth of a percent for him and his family.

  15. SenyorDave says:

    @grumpy realist: Someone who was really worth $5B wouldn’t have been piddling around with things like Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka.

    I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a con man/grifter like Trump. He’ll scam anyone/anything even for a few bucks. Fahrenthold of the WaPo (he should get a Pulitzer for his work, he tried to warn us) came up with this gem about the Trump charity:

    Its smallest-ever gift, for $7, was paid to the Boy Scouts in 1989, at a time when it cost $7 to register a new Scout. Trump’s oldest son was 11 at the time. Trump did not respond to a question about whether the money was paid to register him.

    Cheap bastard stole from his charity to pay his son’s $7 scout registration fee.

    This was an incredible article summarizing what a lying scumbag Trump regarding his charitable claims:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-boasts-of-his-philanthropy-but-his-giving-falls-short-of-his-words/2016/10/29/b3c03106-9ac7-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html?utm_term=.39746f90f51c

  16. Jc says:

    @grumpy realist: True, and likely his assets are pledged against those debts. I don’t see how he sells, so it must be resigning from his position and turning it over to another party. Maybe that is what all those meetings with Mitt are for lol.

  17. CSK says:

    Oh, dear Gawd. ABC is reporting that Sarah Palin is being considered for VA secretary.

    I hope this is a joke.

  18. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Finger to nose. I can’t speak with any specificity, but …

    Finger to nose …

  19. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    If he were living on credit I wouldn’t be surprised.

  20. Jen says:

    The Office of Government Ethics has a twitter account, and someone there has been having a bit of fun with this announcement.

  21. Jc says:

    Looking at his FEC Fin Disclosure – I don’t see how he liquidates all of his interests. Just not possible. I would like to know the true valuation of all his assets and liabilities – that form is too broad

  22. gVOR08 says:

    We’ll have to wait until at least December 15th to find out exactly what it is that Trump has in mind does

    FTFY to all that needs, or can, be said. Trump threw out an off the cuff comment that is almost certainly BS and WAPO, some network, and you spent hundreds of words analyzing it. That’s how you normalize Trump.

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jc:

    The primary problem there isn’t so much one of financial logistics – although that would be a fairly complex undertaking.

    The primary problem is that divestment would put a hard valuation on his net worth – something he has gone out of his way to keep private and puff as much as possible. Keep the company and he gets to pretend he’s a bigger deal than he is – with little to no way for anyone else to validate his claims. Sell it and instantly everybody knows just how much clothing the emperor is – or isn’t – wearing.

    It’s why he’ll never sell. It would expose the magnitude of his lie.

  24. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @CSK:

    I’m not holding my breath waiting for him to sell. In any case, how does he sell what he doesn’t actually own: the goods/properties to which he’s licensed his name? This is the guy who claims his “brand” is worth $10 billion.

    I agree with your comment.

    However, I withhold opinion until we see the results of the documents and new organization structure.

    If it is not a blind trust or complete sale to non-trump family members, then we have a legislative tizzy to raise.

    For now, we wait and see.

  25. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Oh, and btw…

    When do we get to see his tax returns, so that we will all know that his is truly divested?

  26. gVOR08 says:

    Were a foreign government to make a gift to Trump it would be a clear violation of the Nobility Clause.
    Article I, Section 9, Clause 8:
    No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
    Would unusually generous terms by any entity effectively controlled by a foreign government to any entity in which Trump knowingly holds a financial interest not also be a clear violation.

    As someone noted a few days ago, there are no Constitution Police. It falls to Congress and “citizens” through the courts. A Republican Congress isn’t going to give a spit unless they decide to impeach for other reasons. (Although having grounds in his pocket might appeal to Ryan.) Standing will make the courts awkward even without Trump appointed Justices.

    During the Cheney Regency there were news stories that Cheney had ordered his blind trust to sell some specific stock. Somehow the question of how Cheney knew the trust owned the stock, much less could order a sale, never seemed to be raised. IOKIYAR I guess.

  27. Jc says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yeah, that is what I would like to see, a true valuation of all of these assets/liabilities. I would love to see an audited Trump consolidated balance sheet, or any type of private valuation of his golf courses etc…, just something…Yeah, everyone knows he is not a billionaire or worth a billion…just sad, He was elected with such little transparency into all of his details by people who alternatively cared about every little email detail that came out on HRC – The amount people have been willing to overlook on this guy is just obscene

  28. Jc says:

    @Jen: Lol, That is hilarious. They must know he will never divest…but good on them for applying some pressure to do the right thing

  29. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jc:

    I can’t speak with any specificity about his worth because of privilege, but I will say that once you omit the essentially worthless intangibles and specify his assets net of debt, which we had to do a few years ago in his quest for financing, it’s not that impressive. It’s nowhere near what he claims.

    This DC hotel will prove to be an interesting exercise in that regard. He used that lease as collateral for a loan from Deutsche PB. If he’s forced to divest it, which is likely given that he will unavoidably void the lease itself by taking the oath for the presidency, he’s going to be stuck trying to sell it without his name attached (so no intangible additive). He tries to intervene with GSA to negate the pullback and we’re off to the races.

  30. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    Would unusually generous terms by any entity effectively controlled by a foreign government to any entity in which Trump knowingly holds a financial interest not also be a clear violation.

    The short answer is: it depends. Corporations owned or controlled by foreign governments are considered to be foreign governments for purposes of the emoluments clause.

    Beyond that, however, any attempt by Trump to use the role to coerce favorable treatment in the course of business deals or favorable treatments voluntarily undertaken with the intent of currying favor are tantamount to extortion & bribery. While they may not tee him up for prosecution while in office as president, they are front and center justification for impeachment.

    And once out of office, former presidents are fair game for prosecution for misdeeds which occurred while they were in office. He really needs to suck it up and find a way to quietly divest himself of this mess, or it will be used against him.

  31. Jc says:

    yes, that will be interesting: From WaPo article today addressing the same topic:

    Trump opened the hotel this fall after spending $42 million of his own money and borrowing another $170 million to foot the cost of construction. There is a provision in the lease allowing Trump to sell or transfer his stake in the hotel to “any Trump Family Member.” Selling it to an outside entity would likely require approval by the General Services Administration.

    If Trump chooses not to sell, his ownership stake could create two problems once he steps into office. A boilerplate 88-word lease measure may require that the government terminate the deal because it bars “an elected official of the Government of the United States” from having “any share or part of this Lease.”

    Procurement experts Steven L. Schooner and Daniel I. Gordon have argued the GSA ought to terminate its deal with Trump because of that clause, writing in The Post a week after the election that “having the president’s adult children negotiate with the staff of the president’s appointee at GSA presents what any reasonable person would view as the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
    Schooner, a George Washington University law professor, said in an email Monday that he worried GSA officials wouldn’t terminate the lease out of risk of financial penalties or “intimidation” from the incoming president.

    But Steven J. Kelman, a former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget, said the passage may apply only to elected officials at the time of lease negotiations.

    Even if it’s not a violation of the lease, putting his children in charge would leave them to negotiate with Trump administration officials over the deal going forward. The official who oversaw the selection of Trump for the project, Robert A. Peck, said recently that he couldn’t imagine the average federal employee feeling much empowered to negotiate with one of Trump’s children while they also advised their father in the White House, if he holds on to the property.

    “It would be one thing if his kids ran the business, if his kids didn’t also want to be White House advisers,” Peck said. “But even then, the specter of some … contracting officers sitting across the table from Eric Trump. How does that feel?”

  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    However, I withhold opinion until we see the results of the documents and new organization structure.

    I fear this is just Lucy holding the football for Mr. Brown. Everything he says is BS. Some of it may be true but that’s just chance. Treating what he says with a wait and see attitude made ethical sense when it was the first or second time he said something. After literally thousands of examples that his statements mean nothing doing so at this point is just playing the patsy.

  33. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I fear this is just Lucy holding the football for Mr. Brown.

    While this may be true, right now, everything is theatre and speculation.

    Fist, let him act, pose and prance. To waste energy now is to do noting but fuel his fire.

    Then on Jan 20th, we see what happens.

  34. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @SenyorDave:

    To be fair, his intangibles might be worth $5 billion.

    Intangibles only have real worth when you’re trying to sell a company and can use them to bolster the ask. For instance, Coca Cola can legitimately carry tons of goodwill on its books because the brand name is worth a great deal. Sell the same product and call it something else and it won’t sell nearly as much. Even there, CC carries goodwill equivalent to 10% of its BS assets. Trump is trying to assert 50%. It would be ludicrous even if the brand had residual value, which it IMO doesn’t.

    In this case, it’s essentially just a made up number. It’s worthless now because you’d have to call the company something else if it was sold (to avoid the conflict of interest problems), so there is zero added value with respect to the brand name. It’s worthless.

  35. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    My hunch is that Trump’s “separation” will fall somewhere between “what Hillary promised in regards to the Clinton Foundation” and “what Hillary actually did in regards to the Clinton Foundation.”

    Admittedly, that’s a very wide gap, but I normally don’t like making predictions, so I don’t feel too bad about shading this one.

  36. I live in the Brazilian city(I’m serious) where Villa Trump was supposed to be built. Trump basically licensed his name to some locals that wanted to build a large condo in a area that was unsuitable for that.

    (I always drive around the mountainous region where they wanted to build a large condo with a golf course and I don´t believe that they thought that they could do that).

    Trump is a celebrity, not a businessman.

  37. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: Trump is a celebrity, not a businessman.

    So, Trump entered into a business arrangement where he took on none of the risk, and still got paid quite significantly? Yeah, that’s really, really bad business right there.

  38. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Why am I not surprised that running a con is an example of shrewd business acumen to you? And where’s the pizza I ordered half an hour ago?

    Click

  39. JDM says:

    I know an investor who would love to buy out Trump, China Inc.

    They have lots of money. 5 billion would be a great price. And I bet that after the sale, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be President Trumps favorite agreement.

    And to show how much China Inc. cares about the American worker, China Inc., would purchase Carrier, from United Technologies. Then they’ll give the 1,000 workers $250,000 retirement bonuses. And so for just an extra $250 million, China Inc, I mean Carrier, will send them out as cheerleaders for Trumpanomics. Then quietly close the factories.

  40. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    a business arrangemen

    Probably better that you don’t try and discuss business, it’s another area where you expose yourself without even being aware of it…

  41. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Why am I not surprised that running a con is an example of shrewd business acumen to you?

    Taking Andre’s story at face value, that it was a con, Trump isn’t the one “running a con.” Trump licensed his name to those “running” the con, and they are the ones who are taking all the risks. And if licensing Trump’s name is a con itself, then the only ones he’s conning are the would-be con artists.

    Trump made money by taking on virtually none of the risk, and let the other side take on pretty much all of it. And the people on the other side went into the deal fully aware that they were assuming all the risk, and have nothing to complain about.

    I can see why you’d be so upset about that. Those poor, exploited Brazilian con men…

    And where’s the pizza I ordered half an hour ago?

    Dude, the delivery guy swears he checked behind every dumpster on that street, and didn’t find you. And it wasn’t like we could re-sell that anchovy and arugala pie, so you’re on our “do not deliver” list now.

  42. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: And where’s the pizza I ordered half an hour ago?

    What a surprise — you’re a classist who has contempt for people in menial jobs, who should just shut up and let their betters handle the important matters.

    Two things:

    1) I’ve always known that it’s a bad idea to be rude to the people who handle your food. Apparently you never learned that lesson.

    2) Reason # 5,879 in an infinite series why your side lost.

  43. An Interested Party says:

    Who could have guessed that “draining the swamp” meant pouring in more pollution

  44. @Jenos The Deplorable:

    Taking Andre’s story at face value, that it was a con, Trump isn’t the one “running a con.”

    More or less. His business partner that licensed his name said to the local press that Trump got a lot of money while doing nothing(Trump answered in his fashion, saying that the guy was just a kid that no one knew before that). What I was pointing out is that they wanted to build a large condo with a large golf club in an area that was obviously not suitable for that(The project was killed because it failed to get license due to environmental reasons).

    If Trump were the businessman that he says that he is there would be “Villa Trump” somewhere.

  45. Franklin says:

    All’s I’ve got to say is that we dodged a bullet with all of Hillary’s conflicts of interest involving the Foundation.

    (For anybody whose meter isn’t turned on this morning, yes that’s sarcasm.)

  46. dxq says:

    Yeah, I heard she actually made money giving speeches to powerful groups. That was a close call!

  47. Franklin says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Just noticed that related comment, as I hadn’t read this entire thread. I can’t totally disagree with what you say there, but personally I’m probably a bit more concerned with some of Trump’s advisers’ connections.

  48. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    what Hillary promised in regards to the Clinton Foundation

    It’s been pretty clear since the election that Trump is far, far, more corrupt than even your best wet-dream about the Clintons.
    Yet…you cannot see it, Dunning-Kruger boy.

  49. CSK says:

    So what’s he gonna do about this: http://www.trumpsingles.com

    Yes, it’s a dating site for Trumpkins.

    It’s not affiliated with Trump in anyway, but he sues people who use his name without paying him. He also sues people named Trump who dare to use their own name in their own business, even the ones whose foundations predate that of The Trump Organization.

  50. Terrye Cravens says:

    @HarvardLaw92: He could sell to his children for any price. He could simply say he sold low to keep it in the family.

  51. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: There is no comparison between The Clinton Foundation and Trump and his businesses, there never was.

  52. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable He also had to pay 25 million in a settlement…that sounds like a helluva businessman.

  53. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Classist? I doubt seriously if Trump ever even pumped his own gas.The idea that this Manhattan billionaire is some man of the people is absurd.

  54. CSK says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    Trump is the classic arriviste, or wanna-be arriviste, because he never “arrived”. He was always desperate to be accepted by the highest social circles in Manhattan, which was impossible. Even cafe society didn’t care for him that much.

    If there’s one thing he hates, it’s the little people, because they remind him of his own failed aspirations.

    It’s true he has money–although not nearly as much as he claims. But it could never buy him into where he wanted to be.

    As for pumping gas? Real bluebloods do it themselves.

  55. Terrye Cravens says:

    @CSK: True.

  56. An Interested Party says:

    @CSK: How delicious that even being the President of the United States won’t give him what he so desperately craves…oh sure, he may get some temporarily for the short time he is office, but once he’s gone and it’s left to others to clean up the messes he’s made, his already shaky reputation will be further in tatters…