On the third leg of his "Thank You" tour Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump defended his selection of millionaires and billionaires to join his administration, likening his picks to rich athletes.
"I want people that made a fortune because now they're negotiating with you. It's not different than a great baseball payer or a great golfer," Trump said.
Trump's picks are particularly interesting as he vowed during his campaign to "drain the swamp" of Washington insiders and lobbyists in Washington DC who he claimed profited at the expense of hardworking Americans. read more
Since Donald Trump's surprise election one month ago, there's been a bubbling conversation about the mammoth conflicts of interest he will have if he is running or even owning his far flung business enterprises while serving as the head of state. I've suggested that the whole notion of 'conflicts of interest' doesn't really capture what we're dealing with here, which is really a pretty open effort to leverage the presidency to expand his family business. But a couple things came together for me today which make me think we've all missed the real issue.
Maybe he can't divest because he's too underwater to do so or more likely he's too dependent on current and expanding cash flow to divest or even turn the reins over to someone else. read more
Trump is promoting conspiracy theories and singling out citizens who displease him.
We in the media are sometimes told not to write stories about Donald Trump's latest Twitter tantrum, and that's often good advice. But the latest one shows something incredibly troubling, and which is likely to be an ongoing feature of his presidency. We've long known that Trump is so petty and insecure that he can't stop himself from lashing out at anyone who criticizes him.
But now we have to seriously ask how long it's going to be before his vindictiveness gets somebody killed.
I welcome you today to your new life as citizens of the United States, and remind you in the clearest words I know to say to you: You are welcome here! You are welcome here! Now it is up to you to assume the important responsibilities of citizenship, which means to join the struggle to make this country as good and kind and just and welcoming as you imagined and hoped and perhaps prayed that it would be when you first embarked on your journey to become a citizen. I say again, you are welcome here. Don't ever forget that, and if anyone ever challenges you on that, you tell them Judge Barker said so on this day you became a citizen. read more
Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine: There are many countries in the world that are governed by men who use their office to enrich themselves and their families. Before now, or at least for the last 200 years (since Andrew Jackson secretly profited off his own land grabs) the United States of America has not been a country like this. The modern American tradition has required political leaders to renounce any financial interest that might bias their decision. Donald Trump has abruptly demolished this tradition. And the Republican Party is happy to oblige. ... Republicans have mostly dealt with Trump's conflicts by ignoring them altogether. ... If Trump can so quickly demolish decades of precedent against presidential self-enrichment, what other norms will he destroy? read more