White House of Grifters

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An ode to our first for-profit Presidency:

They dress nice and probably smell good and most of them don’t even muss the furniture. Wealth gives them the patina of respectability — the American reflex of deference to the rich. But make no mistake: The Trump family and assorted cronies are using the highest office in the land to stuff their pockets.

The presidential sleaze involves everything from using public money to promote and enrich Trump properties to pay-to-play schemes that allow companies to buy influence at many levels. At its core is a nepotistic operation that puts family interests ahead of country.

Donald Trump’s presidency may look like a theater of incompetency: armada going in the wrong direction, forgetting what country he bombed but remembering what he had for dessert, major promises broken with a shrug.

But one thing Trump has accomplished in his first 100 days is ensuring that his family can use the vast reach of the federal government for private gain. By God, they seen their opportunities and they took ’em.

So, Ivanka Trump gets lucrative Chinese trademarks for her clothing line on the same day she dines with the Chinese president. Would this deal have happened if her father wasn’t in the midst of breaking a promise to hold China as a currency manipulator? Why did Trump’s travel ban not include Muslim-majority countries where the family has extensive business ties? And why did Trump congratulate a Turkish tyrant for consolidating his dictatorial powers?

You can read the rest at the New York Times.

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