By Zephyr Teachout, The Nation, January 18, 2017
By refusing to sell his business, he’s opening his administration up to foreign influence.
Thus far, the debate over Donald Trump’s refusal to sell his assets has focused on whether he might use his position to make himself even wealthier, in ways that most people would regard as corrupt. But earlier generations of Americans—including the founders of our country—would have seen his actions in a far harsher light. They would have viewed Trump as a traitor, someone who was willing to become a stooge of foreign powers.
“Treachery” was the language used at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to describe a president “in foreign pay.” …
Teachout goes on to point out that:
• The Chinese government will be paying rent and receiving interest payments from the Trump Organization.
• He has the same relation to some other countries.
• His promise not to make new foreign deals is impossible to keep, as contract renewals and negotiations are the part of any real estate management.
• He does not have the right to take in and give away room fees to his hotels; the constitution gives that responsibility to Congress if it wishes to approve such “emoluments.”
• Foreign financial entanglements could influence his take on military action or non-action.
In sum, Teachout says, “How can he ‘Make America Great Again’ if he’s beholden to business cronies in other countries?”
Of course, we also have to bear in mind that with a man like Trump, promises have no value and only actions count.