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.
2017.10.13 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) 2017.10.19 Donald Trump has reportedly conducted interviews for at least two of the potential candidates for U.S. attorney general positions in New York, an unusual move for a president, which has raised eyebrows, leaving critics worried of potential conflicts of interest, as U.S. attorney generals are supposed to operate independently from the president. thehill.com (See also Legal Issues) 2017.10.21 Donald Trump plans to spend at least $430,000 of his personal funds to help cover the mounting legal costs incurred by White House staff and campaign aides related to the ongoing investigations of Russian meddling in last year’s election. washingtonpost.com (See also Legal Activity, Russian Meddling in Election) 2017.10.29 More than 50% of Donald Trump's nominees to federal agencies have ties to the industries they're supposed to regulate. thedailybeast.com (See also Unprecedented Actions, Federal Departments) 2017.10.30 The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority cancelled the highly disputed $300 million contract awarded to Whitefish Energy, a tiny American company tasked with restoring power to the still storm-ravaged island. npr.org (See also Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, Unprecedented Actions) 2017.10.30 Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., is expected to launch two residential projects in India for the Trump Organization in the coming weeks, continuing the family’s promotion of the Trump empire despite concerns over the president’s potential conflicts of interest with foreign governments, and a vow early on there would be “no new foreign deals” during Trump’s tenure as president. washingtonpost.com (See also Trump Business, Donald Trump Jr) 2017.11.01 Senator Patty Murray assailed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, saying her husband broke pledge to end political contributions. washingtonpost.com (See also Betsy DeVos, Department of Education, Corruption) 2017.11.02 Donald Trump has installed at least five people who have been members of his clubs (meaning: they pay money to his company) to senior roles in his administration, from Robin Bernstein and Callista Gingrich, the nation’s new ambassador to the Vatican, to Adolfo Marzol, a member of the Trump National Golf Club in suburban Washington, who serves as a senior adviser at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. usatoday.com (See also Corruption, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Trump Business) 2017.11.05 Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, retained investments in a shipping firm with business ties to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle. nytimes.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia) 2017.11.08 Activist investor Carl Icahn has been subpoenaed the the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York over his role as an unpaid adviser to Donald Trump on deregulation. axios.com (See also Unprecedented Actions) 2017.11.08 An investigation reveals Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has financial ties to 36 previously undisclosed ships that are spread among at least nine companies, along with the Russia-tied company — Navigator Holdings Ltd. — Ross has a financial interest in at least 75 ships, most of which move oil and gas products across the globe. apmreports.org (See also Wilbur Ross, Department of Commerce, Corruption, Russia) 2017.11.08 Donald Trump promoted his New Jersey golf course during speech to South Korea parliament despite having been criticized for abusing his power to promote his personal business. washingtonpost.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior) 2017.11.08 The U.S. Department of Justice has told AT&T that it would be required to sell CNN as a condition of approval for its proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, adding that AT&T is opposed to such a divestiture, and is prepared to take the Trump Administration to court. axios.com (See also Fascism, Unprecedented Actions, Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, Legal Issues) 2017.11.10 An attorney whose accounting firm helped clients avoid paying billions in taxes, and whose firm had to pay more than $100 million in penalties for a tax shelter scheme, is poised to take control of the Internal Revenue Service. thedailybeast.com (See also Unprecedented Actions) 2017.11.13 Donald Trump Jr. exchanged private messages with WikiLeaks during the presidential campaign at the same time the website was publishing hacked emails from Democratic officials. washingtonpost.com (See also 2016 Campaign, Legal Issues, Donald Trump Jr) 2017.11.13 One of Donald Trump’s most controversial judicial nominees did not disclose on publicly available congressional documents that he is married to a senior lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office. nytimes.com (See also Corruption, Legal Issues, False Statements) 2017.11.14 The State Department has hired a private Russian company co-founded by Vladimir Putin's former KGB boss through a $2.8 million no-bid contract, to guard the US Embassy in Moscow. nytimes.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia, Corruption) 2017.11.20 A examination of public records reveals that there are at least 20 families, joined by either blood or marriage, in which multiple members hold some federal post or appointment. including the family of some of Trump’s most prominent campaign supporters and agency officials, such as Rudy Giuliani’s son, Seb Gorka’s wife, and Eric Trump’s brother-in-law. thedailybeast.com (See also Nepotism) 2017.11.29 Donald Trump lied when he said that he won't benefit from the proposed GOP tax plan, when in fact, Trump and his family could save more than $1 billion. nbcnews.com (See also False Statements, Unpresidential Behavior) 2017.11.29 Twenty-three Trump businesses including his Mar-a-Lago Club must retain records after they receive subpoenas from the attorneys general in Maryland and the District of Columbia as part of a lawsuit accusing the president of profiting from his office. bloomberg.com (See also Legal Issues, Legal Activity, Trump Business) 2017.11.30 Donald Trump over the summer repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. nytimes.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Russia, Legal Issues, 2016 Election) 2017.12.04 A construction company owned in part by the governments of Saudi Arabia and South Korea plans to build a Trump-branded luxury resort development in Indonesia despite a vow from Donald Trump that his family business would not make any deals with foreign government entities while he serves as president. mcclatchydc.com (See also Trump Business, Saudi Arabia, False Statements) 2017.12.12 Following reports that Wilbur Ross vastly overvalued his wealth and failed to disclose his holdings in a Russian shipping company partly owned by Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law, whose long relationship with Donald Trump has been tested by the disclosures, is facing scrutiny by European lawmakers over allegations that he engaged in insider trading related to his 2014 sale of shares in the Bank of Ireland. motherjones.com (See also Wilbur Ross, Department of Commerce, False Statements, Corruption, Criminality) 2017.12.13 Donald Trump’s nominee to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety division withdrew his name from consideration for the post in the face of mounting opposition, due to his studies which often bolstered safety claims by manufacturers of pesticides, flame retardants and other products listed as possible public health hazards. nytimes.com (See also False Statements, Rejected or Withdrawn Appointments, Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt) 2017.12.14 This website is designed to track how Trump and his family are in position to profit directly from his role as president, as it tracks payments to Trump properties from Trump-related entities and beyond. opensecrets.org (See also Fact-Checking Resources, Corruption, Trump Business)