CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday hammered House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz over Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest, at one point reminding the Republican leader that his responsibility is to serve as a check-and-balance for the president.
Chaffetz responded to a question about conflicts inherent in the president’s sprawling business empire by insisting, “the president is exempt from conflicts of interest, so it’s kind of a non-issue,” adding Trump has promised to “wall … off” his business interests while president.
“What about the emolument clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Blitzer asked, referring to a clause some Constitutional scholars interpret to mean Trump is forbidden from taking any money from a foreign state.
“I know it’s surprising and frustrating to Democrats, but the president is exempt from these conflicts of interest,” Chaffetz repeated.
“But he’s not exempt from the emoluments clause, is he?” Blitzer pressed.
Chaffetz argued he refused to go on a “fishing expedition that the Democrats want us to go into,” adding the public understood what they were getting into when the “overwhelmingly” elected Trump into office.
“You’re the chairman of this Oversight Committee that’s looking at the executive branch of the U.S. government,” Blitzer reminded Chaffetz, adding “the President of the United States potentially could be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.”
“I just don’t see it like that Wolf,” Chaffetz replied. “I just don’t.”
Chaffetz argued that he never “did this type of investigation on Barack Obama, I never did it on Hillary Clinton,” adding there’s “nothing to suggest that [Trump] is profiteering in an unordinary way from the fact that he’s President of the United States.”
The House Oversight Committee chairman said he would probe any conflict that “rises to the surface.”
“I’m just not going to go on a fishing expedition,” he said before explaining what he believes to be the driving force behind concerns about Trump’s potential conflicts-of-interest.
“It’s Democrats with their heads exploding wanting to see this because they cant believe that Donald Trump is actually president of the United States,” Chaffetz opined, adding, “I know what their motivation is.”
“I think we’re going to leave it on that note,” Blitzer replied. “But I just want to point out that your committee is designed to be a sort of check and balance on the executive branch. The Oversight Committee, that’s what it’s called.”
Watch the video below, via CNN:
Trump questions US military over reports of UFOs and doubts existence of extraterrestrial life in ABC interview
In the most recent excerpt from his interview with ABC host George Stephanopoulos, President Donald Trump expressed skepticism at the existence of UFOs despite recent revelations from the Pentagon of sightings.
Asked about alien visitations, Trump was curt and dismissive.
"I think it’s probably -- I want them to think whatever they think. They do say, and I've seen, and I’ve read, and I’ve heard. And I did have one very brief meeting on it. But people are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particular," Trump explained.
Italian director Franco Zeffirelli dies aged 96: media
Italian film and opera legend Franco Zeffirelli died Saturday at the age of 96 at his home in Rome, local media reported.
The director of movies and operas "died serenely after a long illness, which had worsened these last months," Italian media said, citing family members.
"I never wanted this day to come. Franco Zeffirelli departed this morning. One of the greatest men in the world of culture. We join in the grief of his loved ones. Goodbye, dear Master, Florence will never forget you," tweeted Dario Nardella, the mayor of Florence, where Zeffirelli was born.
A director, screenwriter, and producer, Zeffirelli has about 20 feature films to his name.
New documents reveal how a young Trump bullied the press for years as he hid his actual wealth
On Friday, journalist Jonathan Greenberg published a stunning exposé of how Donald Trump, in his younger years, managed to maintain his brand of success and fortune — and keep attracting investors to his projects — even in the face of devastating business losses and incompetence.
The short answer: he threatened, intimidated, and bullied reporters out of telling the truth about his business empire.