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Donald Trump Jr. sells America's integrity cheap

With Donald Trump as President, American integrity is on sale -- get it while it lasts.This week's exhibit: D...

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 8:08 AM
Updated: Feb 21, 2018 8:08 AM

With Donald Trump as President, American integrity is on sale -- get it while it lasts.

This week's exhibit: Donald Trump Jr. is in India, mixing political business and personal enrichment. Trump the younger is set to give a foreign policy speech and hawk Trump-branded apartments near Delhi, with one of the selling points being "a conversation and dinner" with Trump Jr.

The relatively small number of Indians wealthy enough to afford a luxury apartment aren't just getting the chance to live in places bedecked with the vulgar, gold-plated Trump name (the Trumps didn't invest in the project, just licensed their name to it). They're also getting access to the President's son -- who far from being a disinterested party, avidly inserts himself into debates over his father's presidency and policies -- in exchange for enriching the Trump family.

How did we get to this deeply troubling point? This isn't just a business trip for the acting head of the President's business empire. Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump are supposed to be heading the organization while their father is in office. The two are not meant to be enmeshed in the administration.

So why is Junior planning to give a speech about Indo-Pacific relations, appearing on the bill just behind Indian President Narendra Modi? It defies logic to suggest that he isn't speaking as a representative of the American administration, which makes it all the more egregious that he's leveraging his political access to sell apartment units.

It's not just Trump Jr. who profits from this: the President, who has only temporarily stepped away from the organization that bears his name, does, too. That creates a series of ethical concerns, especially because the President has not divested himself from his empire - far from it.

Painful and embarrassing though it may be to so many Americans, around the world, the word "Trump" means one thing: The American presidency. When the President's son and the President's company sell real estate, or anything else for that matter, with the President's name on it, they are putting the honor of that office up for sale. And they cheapen it.

They also put American interests at risk. Ethics rules and the unwritten norms by which most previous presidents have operated don't exist just to maintain America's reputation, or to prevent the country from being associated with gold toilets and tacky faux-French detailing. They exist so that the president, and other elected officials, put the benefits to the American people ahead of any personal interests.

Perhaps, when faced with a choice between helping more Americans or personally enriching himself, Trump would indeed put the American people first. He hasn't done that in the past, but even if you believe he would, the rules and norms aren't made to guide the most morally upstanding person in the room (a designation one imagines has never been laid on the President, but let's put that aside). Ethics rules are made so politicians aren't in the position of getting to choose between the people and their bank accounts, and so there isn't even the appearance of impropriety or self-dealing.

Donald Trump has ignored all that, choosing instead to tarnish America's image abroad and compromise the integrity of his office.

Americans deserve a President who will advocate for America, and won't be swayed in his foreign policy decision-making by his personal financial ties, brokered by Junior. Consider, for example: What if the same thing that's best for the nation could hurt Donald Trump's bottom line? Do we trust that a man whose son is quite literally making himself available to foreign leaders in exchange for pricey apartments will make the morally righteous choice there?

"They are auctioning off access to the first family in a foreign land," Norman Eisen, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told CNNMoney on Monday. "What is to stop a foreign national with interests before the US government from asking Don Jr. to raise some issue or concern with his father?"

Trump wants to make America great again. You don't do that by selling her cheap.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1560117

Reported Deaths: 20796
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2118112563
Lake1021301523
Allen964791027
Hamilton75541551
St. Joseph66476761
Elkhart51045634
Vanderburgh50511531
Tippecanoe45721338
Johnson39600527
Hendricks37933463
Porter35132476
Madison30330547
Clark27296331
Vigo26401347
Monroe24100249
LaPorte23921313
Howard23237381
Delaware22453370
Hancock19314220
Bartholomew18980216
Kosciusko18400204
Warrick17733216
Wayne16982303
Floyd16686257
Grant15966300
Morgan15091232
Boone13924138
Dearborn12235113
Shelby12225152
Noble12170142
Henry12027202
Dubois11696152
Marshall11625171
Jackson11111104
Cass10578143
Lawrence10529221
Huntington10523140
DeKalb10482132
Gibson10114127
Montgomery9671144
Harrison9471117
Knox9415125
Whitley902571
Steuben8934105
Putnam8542100
Miami8533135
Clinton849397
Jasper8462116
Jefferson8319127
Wabash8027140
Ripley7504117
Scott685787
Adams6829103
Daviess6825130
White638184
Greene6317112
Clay628975
Decatur6261121
Jennings619781
Wells6090121
Fayette6054122
Posey580148
LaGrange549097
Randolph5364129
Washington528071
Owen5211100
Fountain493681
Spencer467456
Sullivan462066
Fulton450993
Orange449784
Starke448887
Rush433941
Jay432564
Perry409155
Carroll394749
Franklin394650
Vermillion370762
Pike334246
Parke331239
Tipton330475
Blackford282255
Pulaski281775
Brown239856
Newton239761
Benton228921
Crawford224932
Switzerland207914
Martin196722
Warren183922
Union178119
Ohio129216
Unassigned0763

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2515949

Reported Deaths: 31987
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2719422100
Cuyahoga2606673087
Hamilton1758091756
Montgomery1177451651
Summit1089011418
Lucas935321193
Butler83907963
Stark771001431
Lorain64214809
Warren53428489
Mahoning51224930
Lake47591611
Clermont46928452
Delaware41107220
Trumbull39746790
Licking38790416
Medina38646427
Fairfield35828349
Greene34313435
Portage32429366
Clark32361453
Richland29653444
Wood29379301
Allen25875403
Miami24243408
Muskingum23564255
Columbiana23046409
Wayne22093365
Tuscarawas19637428
Marion18616235
Erie18608224
Ashtabula18569362
Scioto18159214
Ross17594260
Pickaway16419181
Hancock16115232
Geauga15511229
Lawrence15094186
Belmont14236248
Union1419584
Huron13908184
Jefferson13656261
Sandusky13268200
Athens12877107
Knox12160201
Seneca12055204
Darke11440202
Ashland11248184
Washington11152172
Auglaize10873147
Crawford10432178
Shelby10402160
Brown10094145
Highland9746151
Fulton9726154
Guernsey9683122
Defiance9567137
Logan9470147
Clinton9428132
Mercer9099112
Madison9032111
Preble8524170
Williams8305138
Putnam8069136
Champaign8040113
Ottawa7971123
Jackson7848121
Perry7514102
Coshocton7411136
Morrow729184
Fayette715992
Pike666689
Hardin6564133
Gallia638891
Adams6227127
Van Wert6065121
Henry602596
Hocking5918105
Wyandot503594
Carroll5009101
Holmes4880167
Paulding426465
Meigs400974
Monroe316468
Harrison299162
Noble296952
Morgan292748
Vinton258646
Unassigned08
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