Tag Archives: emolument clause

Is Turkey Hacking Trump?

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald (author of Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story, Serpent on the Rock, and a few other books) is reporting an interesting story this morning.

Here is the short version, as I understand it.

Turkey had a coup. The Turkish government, in particular, President Erdogan, blames naturalized US citizen Fethullah Gülen for that coup, and wants him extradited. The US won’t do that.

President Erdogan and Presumed President Elect Trump had a conversation soon after the election, in which Trump mentioned a key player in the development of the Turkish version of Trump Towers. We may presume this was an effort to get that project special treatment in Turkey.

Trump’s efforts to sidle up to Erdogan backfired, and something different happened. The Erdogan government arrested a key individual related to the Trump project, accusing him of being linked to the Coup.

So, now, we have this situation. President Trump (assuming he becomes president) is under pressure to release Imam Gülen to the Turks else his business dealings with respect to the Turkish Trump Tower project be threatened.

Inauguration day hasn’t even happened yet and we are already seeing Trump’s business empire involved in seemingly nefarious dealings and intrigue. He can’t run a country like this.

Trump was planning to give a news conference on Thursday to describe his plans for separating his businesses from his presidency. That would be appropriate, because the Electors would have a chance to review his plans to see if he is qualified to be president. But yesterday, Trump said he’d hold that news conference in January instead. There is speculation that Trump is essentially hiding out, avoiding talking about Friday’s allegations that the Russians are significantly responsible, according to the CIA, for Trump winning the election. In any event, Trump will not be providing the information necessary for Electors to determine his qualifications, which is their Constitutional responsibility.

Over night, Trump did tweet something about his business plans. According to his over night tweets, he is sticking with the original plans. No blind trust, no divestment, his kids will handle the businesses.

In typical Trump slo mo, he said, “Even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my busineses before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the……”

Then, six minutes later, finished the sentence with “Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.”

Nine minutes later he finished the thought and elaborated: “I will hold a press conference in the near future to discuss the business, Cabinet picks and all other topics of interest. Busy times!”

The Newsweek story covers a lot more than the Turkish situation. It is here and you should read it. The Trump-Philippines-Holocaust-TrumpTower connection is especially chilling.

Rachel Maddow covered the story last night as well: