Ethics watchdog calls out Trump for threatening Starbucks to ‘keep putting money in his pocket’
Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology executives at Trump Tower in New York City (AFP Photo/Drew Angerer)

An ethics watchdog flagged a tweet from President Donald Trump that appeared to threaten Starbucks over a possible political challenge from its former CEO.

Trump responded in his customary form to media coverage of Howard Schultz considering a presidential campaign as an independent.

"Howard Schultz doesn’t have the 'guts' to run for President!" Trump tweeted Monday morning. "Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the 'smartest person.' Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!"

Robert Maguire, research director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was aghast.

"The President of the United States -- who still profits from his private company in office -- just called out a major U.S. corporation and said they better keep putting money in his pocket," Maguire tweeted. "This is unheard of."