Trump on track to become the next Nixon?
Well, the former reality show host shows no interest in following ethics norms, so while it could just blow over, we would not be surprised if this does not turn out well:
Let’s be honest. Conflicts of interest are boring.
The president knows this. In fact, he’s banking on it.
Instead of addressing his conflicts in a meaningful way at his press conference ahead of his inauguration, Trump pointed to a stack of folders behind him. He then turned the press conference over to a lawyer, who talked about Trump’s plans for long enough for viewers to lose interest. It sounded official and complicated, even though it’s an embellished version of his November announcement to turn the business over to his children.
Many condemned Trump’s plan to handle his myriad conflicts of interest as president as wholly inadequate, including the director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
But most likely, Trump will get away with it – for now – and continue to ignore the warnings of government ethics officials, tasked with preventing things from going terribly wrong.
For decades, they’ve been so successful at preventing a major government ethics scandal, Trump’s conflicts of interest now seem academic and even soporific to the average voter. Unfortunately for Trump, his unwillingness to listen makes a disaster much more likely. On the upside, a scandal would at least remind Americans why ethics-based precautions matter.