Is it wrong for officials to use the White House for personal profit? | The Tylt
Ethics experts are accusing the family of Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law, of attempting to cash in on Kushner’s newfound proximity to power. Watchdogs say the White House is being used for unprecedented personal profit, from Ivanka Trump's book to her father's frequent visits to his properties. But supporters say Trump and his family shouldn't have to give up businesses they spent decades building—and besides, all presidents use the office for personal gain. What do you think?
Is it wrong for officials to use the White House for personal profit?
Ferdinand Marcos-style kleptocracies—government by those who seek status and personal wealth at the expense of the governed—aren't supposed to happen in the United States. But at New York magazine, Jonathan Chait says Trump has basically made the presidency "an adjunct of his real-estate and branding business."
Trump’s brazen use of his office for personal enrichment signals something even more worrisome than four or more years of kleptocratic government. It reveals how willing the new administration is to obliterate governing norms and how little stands in his way.
Most of Trump's supporters say he should not have to give up the family-run business he spent his life building. They are confident he can run the country without having to divest, and have no issue with his children running the business.
But others point out all of the wealth presidents accrue as a result of their office, from speaking gigs and book deals to endorsements and high-paying jobs for friends and family. It's not just the Trump White House that's pay-to-play—it's American democracy.
Still, we've never had a billionaire president whose children also run multi-million-dollar businesses.
“The stars have all aligned,” Eric Trump, who is Donald Trump’s son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization in charge of golf properties, told The New York Times. “I think our brand is the hottest it has ever been.”