Conflicts of Interest.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, one of the biggest concerns raised by voters was Trump’s potential conflicts of interest involving his family’s business. More than a year after the election, those worries turned out to be well founded and often times not readily apparent to most Americans. Here’s are five of the most recent instances where Trump is likely violating some of the most basic government ethics rules.

  • Last week, Donald Trump Jr. was in India, promoting the Trump Organization. During the trip, ads promised a meeting with Trump Jr. if they invested $38,000 in the Trump Organization. And one panel led by Trump Jr. was entitled, “Reshaping Indo-Pacific Ties: The New Era of Cooperation,” which sounds a bit too close to a government official’s words.
  • President Trump’s reelection campaign has launched, and its home is the Trump Tower in Manhattan. The rent is $37,000 a month, and who’s footing the bill? The Republican National Committee.
  • One of the leading ethics watchdogs in D.C.—Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)—has charged the Trump administration with accepting gifts from foreign governments, which would be a clear violation of the emoluments clause.
  • Some of CREW’s concerns revolve around Trump’s business in Panama, which is now subject to an investigation by Panama’s federal prosecutors.

ACTION OF THE DAY

“Witch Hunt.” Trump is back on Twitter, accusing the Russia probe of being a witch hunt. But what we need is the President to stop ranting on Twitter and start talking to Mueller. Sign our petition here—and make sure you share with friends and family! If 50,000 signatures are collected, we will personally deliver this to Trump’s lawyers.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Sticking With The NRA. FedEx released a statement concerning its partnership with the NRA—and it has left many feeling angry. The statement starts by listing the company’s views on gun policy, which differ widely from the NRA’s stances. But, it then goes on to note that it will continue to provide discounts to NRA members because not doing so would be discriminatory. That final point has a lot of people scratching their heads—charging normal prices to NRA members would be discriminatory? Does this mean FedEx should be providing discounts to all member organizations, no matter their beliefs? In better news, Lockton ended their relationship with the NRA this morning. Check out the companies that remain.

Health At Risk. The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) funds millions of dollars of research per year into the impacts of chemical exposure on children and adults. But now, Administrator Pruitt is proposing to eliminate this program in his reorganization of the agency. NCER is known for its “handling of fellowships that study the effects of chemicals on children’s health” and for its Science To Achieve Results (STAR) program, which provides grants to research centers with goals to “discover methods to reduce children’s health risks from environmental factors.” This is just the latest example of dangerous, damaging changes at the EPA under Pruitt, and an administration determined to hamper efforts to address climate change and environmental health risks in the U.S.

FACT CHECK

Arming Teachers. Trump continues to promote a plan to arm teachers in America’s public schools, despite widespread backlash, especially from teachers. Here’s three reasons why it’s an awful idea.

  • Armed citizens rarely successfully intervene to stop an active shooter. In fact, an “FBI study of 160 active-shooting incidents from 2000 to 2013 found that only one was stopped by an individual with a valid firearms permit.”
  • Even *if* this plan made sense (which it doesn’t), it wouldn’t work logistically. It could cost over $1 billion—and we can’t even provide all our teachers with books and other crucial school materials.