Reminder: we’ve made the choice who the president elect is. It’s now time to hold him to the highest standard as we do for all presidents. This is explicitly intended to be a nonpartisan post. If you disagree with something I’ve written here or think it’s slanted, I’m genuinely curious why; please take the time to comment!
Since week 1, a few concerns remain unchanged:
- No tax returns released. Unprecedented in modern politics, has to be made right.
- Operators of blind trust are members of transition team, creating clear conflict of interest. Unprecedented in modern politics.
- Appointment of Stephen Bannon as Chief of Strategy, who’s explicitly created a platform for “alt-right” and has published Antisemitic, racist, and misogynist content. This is not a nomination to unite the country. Hard to understand anyone of high character having a person like this as adviser.
- Appointment of children as operators of “blind trust”. Hard to understand how business will be operated “blindly”. Not illegal for president and vice president, but would be illegal for lower-level officials in executive branch.
One concern was resolved:
- Settled fraud lawsuits around Trump University (note, promised not to settle while campaigning). There will probably be “no admission of guilt”. Unprecedented in modern politics.
And several more issues arose:
- Reported to be seeking security clearance for son-in-law to be made an adviser. This would be actually illegal.
- Evidence of personally operating on behalf of existing businesses and may be using PEOTUS status on their behalf. This is unprecedented and ethically a gray area but probably not illegal. If done as POTUS, it would be actually illegal.
- Calls with heads of state on unsecured private cell phone. At best careless. And if the phone is android as evidence suggests, it’s quite possible that domestic, foreign, and/or private agencies could have recordings.
- Senior and experienced members of transition team purged over what might have been a 10-year-old personal vendetta. Not high character.
- Off-the-record meeting with press to “rip them new assholes” over reporting. Dangerous precedent to be setting.
- Fabricated claim to have saved Ford plant from moving to Mexico. Hard not to call this carefully crafted domestic propaganda.
- Ongoing personal feud with major newspaper. Not high character.
As an editorial aside, I’m surprised with how brazenly the president-elect is behaving, it’s happening very fast. We’re going to have to be vigilant in not growing tired of these reports and normalizing failure to operate by the highest standard.