Conflicts of Interest
The Oxford Dictionary defines a conflict of interest as "a situation in which the concerns or aims of two different parties are incompatible" or "a situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity."
Trump has many businesses, investments, and business relationships that create conflicts of interest for him as president. He has refused to eliminate those financial entanglements. He has also refused to disclose his taxes, as all modern presidents and presidential candidates have done. This makes it impossible to know whether actions he is taking as president are being done in service of the U.S., or for his own financial gain (or the gain of those close to him, such as his family).
The Constitution has a provision known as the Emoluments Clause, which bans payments from foreign powers. This was intended by the framers to prevent U.S. officials from being corrupted by gifts or payments. Trump's businesses receive payments from foreign powers.
See also Corruption.
2017.07.12 The State Department spent more than $15,000 to book 19 rooms at the new Trump hotel in Vancouver when members of Trump’s family headlined the grand opening of the tower in late February. washingtonpost.com (See also Corruption) 2017.07.19 The U.S. government is paying more than $130,000 a month to lease space in Trump Tower for the military office that supports the White House, even though Donald Trump hasn’t spent a night at the New York skyscraper since becoming president. wsj.com 2017.07.20 Trump can legally continue to funnel funds from donors back into his own businesses, which has amounted to about $600,000 spent at Trump-owned properties in just the first six months of his presidency. wired.com (See also Trump Business) 2017.07.20 Trump personally met with Jessie Liu, the current deputy general counsel for the Treasury Department and who Trump tapped to be the next US attorney for the District of Columbia -- a move that sharply departs from past practice and is at odds with the understood custom of insulating US attorneys from political influence. cnn.com (See also Legal Issues, Unprecedented Actions) 2017.07.21 Jared Kushner's status as a top aide to President Donald Trump was used to lure Chinese investors to his family's New Jersey development, even after his family's company apologized for mentioning his name during a sales pitch in May. cnn.com (See also Jared Kushner, China) 2017.07.21 Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons to aides, family members and even himself. washingtonpost.com (See also Unprecedented Actions, Legal Activity, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.08.02 Kushner Cos., the New York property development business owned by the family of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, has been subpoenaed by New York federal prosecutors regarding its use of an investment-for-immigration program, according to people familiar with the matter. wsj.com (See also Legal Activity, Jared Kushner) 2017.08.03 The Secret Service has vacated its command post inside Trump Tower in Manhattan following a dispute between the government and President Trump’s company over the terms of a lease for the space. washingtonpost.com (See also Unprecedented Actions, The Trump Organization) 2017.08.04 Investigators working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently asked the White House for documents related to the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, and have questioned witnesses about whether he was secretly paid by the Turkish government during the final months of the presidential campaign. nytimes.com (See also Michael Flynn, Corruption, 2016 Campaign) 2017.08.07 Since Trump’s election, the Trump International Hotel has emerged as a Republican Party power center - a profit-making venture with the name of the U.S. president in its gold signage, where every cup of coffee served, every fundraiser scheduled, every filet mignon ordered feeds the revenue of Trump's private business. washingtonpost.com (See also Corruption) 2017.08.07 When Trump ordered federal agencies to form teams to dismantle government regulations, those teams often turned to people with deep industry ties. nytimes.com (See also Assaults on Government, Corruption) 2017.08.10 Donald Trump’s company turned a $1.97 million profit at its opulent Trump International Hotel so far in 2017, dramatically beating its expectations and giving the first hard numbers to critics who charge that Trump is profiting from his presidency. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Business, The Trump Organization) 2017.08.18 Carl Icahn’s role as a special regulatory adviser to Donald Trump has ended after questions were raised about potential conflicts of interest with his business dealings in oil refining and insurance. bloomberg.com 2017.08.20 An expanding number of organizations that had planned to hold galas at the president’s Florida resort - Mar-a-Lago - are deciding to raise money elsewhere. nytimes.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, Racism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism) 2017.08.21 Republican committees have paid nearly $1.3 million to Trump-owned entities this year. washingtonpost.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior) 2017.08.21 U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s wife Louise Linton boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post. washingtonpost.com (See also Steven Mnuchin) 2017.08.25 The White House on Friday announced a new round of sanctions against Venezuela that explicitly exempt the U.S. arm of the country’s state-owned oil company, Citgo, which donated six-figure sums to Trump’s inauguration and recently hired former Trump officials to lobby for that exemption. thedailybeast.com (See also Corruption, Foreign Policy) 2017.09.06 Due to Donald Trump's clubs and memberships, for the first time in U.S. history, wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally. usatoday.com (See also Corruption, Trump Business) 2017.09.11 A major construction company owned by the Chinese government was hired to work on the latest Trump golf club development in Dubai despite a pledge from Donald Trump that his family business would not engage in any transactions with foreign government entities while he serves as president. mcclatchydc.com (See also Corruption, China) 2017.09.13 The Justice Department is preventing Senate investigators from interviewing two top FBI officials who could provide first-hand testimony over the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. cnn.com (See also Corruption, Unprecedented Actions) 2017.09.13 The U.S. Office of Government Ethics has quietly reversed its own internal policy prohibiting anonymous donations from lobbyists to White House staffers who have legal defense funds, enabling Donald Trump’s aides to raise the money they need to pay attorneys as the Russia probe expands — but raises the potential for hidden conflicts of interest or other ethics trouble. politico.com (See also Russia, Legal Issues, Corruption) 2017.09.15 During a trip to Mar-a-Lago in March, the government paid the Trump-owned club to reserve at least one bedroom for two nights the full price of $546 each; this is taxpayers enriching Donald Trump when government officials stay at his properties. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Issues, Corruption) 2017.09.15 The Trump administration on Friday escalated a battle with government ethics groups by declining, even in the face of a federal court order from the Justice Department, to release the identities of individuals visiting with President Trump at his family’s Mar-a-Lago resort. nytimes.com (See also Legal Issues, Department of Justice, Corruption) 2017.09.28 Donald Trump could cut his tax bills by more than $1.1 billion, including saving tens of millions of dollars in a single year, under his proposed tax changes. nytimes.com (See also Trump Taxes, Trump Business) 2017.10.13 Donald Trump and Republican leaders have positioned a proposed repeal of the estate tax as a way to help farmers, ranchers and small business owners, but Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, offered a significant concession about who would benefit the most if the so-called death tax disappears: the rich. nytimes.com (See also False Statements, Department of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin)