Not Quite A Merry Christmas For Dems As Trump Foundation Divests
Donald Trump gave Democrats a Christmas gift over the weekend, and they said thanks by pulling down the Christmas tree, breaking the nativity scene and shattering the fine China.
The president-elect announced he’s dissolving the Donald J. Trump Foundation to begin to assuage conflict-of-interest fears during his presidency.
“Because I will be devoting so much time and energy to the Presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world,” Trump said Saturday, “I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest.”
Eric Trump also recently announced he’s ceasing all fundraising at The Eric Trump Foundation to avoid donors getting special access to the first family.
The Donald J. Trump Foundation is no bastion of charity work, following the typical foundation model of over-promise and under-deliver. It had its share of scandals, namely, using charitable funds to pay off lawsuits against his for-profit businesses and lacking necessary certification in New York to solicit public donations.
Democrats and some Republicans have been very vocal that Trump will not properly remove himself from all business holdings before he’s sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Jan. 20. Trump is entangled in business ventures all over the world that some say — and some don’t say — would put him in violation of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution, or a 1967 anti-nepotism law. That law came about courtesy of Democratic President John F. Kennedy appointing his brother Bobby as attorney general. President Kennedy, Democrats may now want to forget, was an incredibly wealthy president. His father amassed a fortune of $1 billion and his wife, Jackie, was an oil heiress.
America is no stranger to well-off presidents.
The Democratic National Committee saw red after Trump’s foundation announcement, issuing a scathing statement about something Democrats have been pestering him to do for weeks.
DNC stmt on the Trump Foundation: “Trump’s announcement today is a wilted fig leaf to cover up…his pitiful record of charitable giving.” pic.twitter.com/rQ83LUCJXs
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 25, 2016
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a statement Saturday informing Trump that he isn’t allowed to fix the potential conflict of interest: “The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete.”
Schneiderman launched his investigation into Trump’s foundation in September, but has yet to scrutinize the Clinton Foundation, which has not been in compliance of New York rules for over a decade. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s favors to Morocco netted the foundation up to $28 million. Clinton Foundation donors expected “benefits in return for gifts,” and Saudi Arabia has donated tens of millions to the charity. Schneiderman was an adviser to Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump was hounded after he tweeted about a Dec. 15 press conference that never happened, during which he was supposed to discuss his business dealings. The press conference has been postponed until January.
Democrats asked Trump to divest from his businesses, and while he hasn’t quite done that yet, he took a step in the right direction Saturday.
The divest-or-impeach crowd is never going to be happy with Trump — even if he does what they want. He’s damned if he doesn’t divest, and he’s damned if he does.
They’ll turn their attention to Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, Donald Jr. and Eric. Ivanka will get in trouble for attending her father’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Jared will get in trouble for a prospective role in his father-in-law’s administration. Donald Jr. will get in trouble for purportedly having a role in picking Rep. Ryan Zinke for secretary of the interior. Eric will get in trouble for a charitable auction offering a chance to have coffee with Ivanka.
And I wager they’ll still find a way to attack Trump if he places his business empire in a true blind trust.
None of this is particularly surprising, though. The left has done nothing to bring the nation together after Hillary’s embarrassing loss. It’s Trump’s responsibility, and his alone, to heal the wounds perpetuated by progressive identity politics. Is he vindicated? Of course not, but refusing to help him heal the deep divides in America and then inevitably saying it’s his fault is absurd.
Democratic leaders are setting Trump up to fail by refusing to give him a chance; when he does fail — whether it’s in healing the nation or entirely removing himself from his company — they will turn to their base and say, “See? We told you this would happen.” That’s not the way to fix our nation’s wounds.
Like a spoiled kid on Christmas morning getting a toy that’s the wrong color, the left will scream and cry over nonexistent issues they create as Donald Trump and his family work through legitimate ones.
Follow Katie on Twitter and Facebook