Do you remember back a few years ago, before Al Gore invented the internet, how politicians raised money by phone? Do you remember how Vice President Gore was under investigation for using his office in the White House and the phones located there to raise money for the Clinton-Gore campaign in violation of federal law? And do you remember how Gore claimed to be exempt from that law?
If you’re wondering why I’m taking you on this trip down memory lane, here it is: Donald Trump and his administration are following in Al Gore’s footsteps when it comes to dealing with ethical corruption.
Shortly after his inauguration, Trump announced to America that he was exempt from conflict-of-interest laws, and would therefore keep his interests in the family businesses. This has resulted in questionable behavior from the White House in the aftermath of a decision by Nordstrom Stores to cease selling Ivanka Trump’s fashion line.
President Trump sent out a tweet stating how unfair Nordstrom was being while attending an intelligence briefing–biting my tongue on the irony of using the words “Trump” and “intelligence” in the same sentence–and then re-tweeted his rant using the President’s official Twitter account (@POTUS).
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
Kellyanne Conway appeared in a TV interview held in the White House briefing room as a pitchman for Ivanka:
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would tell you . . . I hate shopping but I’m going to go get some for myself today . . . This is just a wonderful line . . . I own some of it . . . I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
The federal regulation governing conflicts of interests (CFR 2635.702 – Use of public office for private gain) reads, in part:
An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity, including nonprofit organizations of which the employee is an officer or member, and persons with whom the employee has or seeks employment or business relations.”
Sounds pretty clear to me.
I’m pretty sure that I will be hearing from the Trumpettes as they argue that comparing Trump to Gore isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. And I would have to agree with them to a certain extent. Al Gore broke the law in order to raise money for his campaign . . . while Trump broke the law to line his own pockets.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.