Two days after intense pressure forced President Donald Trump to back down from his plan to host the 2020 G7 summit at his resort in Doral, Florida, the president dismissed the Constitution’s anti-corruption clause—which his plan would have violated—as “phony.”
“You people, with this phony Emoluments Clause,” Trump told reporters at a White House press conference on Monday, responding to allegations that hosting the meeting of foreign leaders at his own property would be a conflict of interest.
Trump claimed that President Barack Obama also violated the Emoluments Clause by signing a book deal and an agreement with Netflix while he was in office—two falsehoods that CNN promptly corrected—and compared himself to President George Washington, who Trump said was also a “businessman” while in office.
Trump just claimed his G-7/Doral pick was OK because Obama got a Netflix & book deal. He claimed these were negotiated while in office.
There's no proof, and CNN fact-checked in real time.
He then went on to claim the Emoluments clause is "phony." CNN put it on the screen. pic.twitter.com/lq8ifvlqRy
— jordan (@JordanUhl) October 21, 2019
Since Trump took office in 2017, ethics watchdogs have decried his refusal to divest from his real estate empire, the Trump Organization, which his two eldest sons are now running. The president maintains access to the company’s financial data.
Meanwhile, a number of state and foreign officials have stayed at Trump’s properties since he’s been in office, which critics say is a clear violation of the Emoluments Clause. The clause bars any president from accepting payments from any state or foreign government.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), whose lawsuit against the president over the Emoluments Clause was reopened last month by a federal appeals court, was among the critics of Trump’s dismissal of constitutional law.
“The emoluments clauses, which the president just called ‘phony,’ are of course the original anti-corruption provisions the framers put into the Constitution centuries ago,” CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder tweeted.
The emoluments clauses, which the President just called "phony," are of course the original anti-corruption provisions the framers put into the constitution centuries ago to prevent exactly the kinds of corruption we are seeing on a daily basis under this president. https://t.co/DpBgl1VguJ
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) October 21, 2019
Trump has also been sued by 200 congressional Democrats and the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C. over alleged emoluments violations. Both cases are slowly moving through federal appeals courts, but no action has been taken by Democrats yet to stop the president from profiting off his position.
“It would be cool if the courts and/or opposition party proved that the Emoluments Clause is not, in fact, phony,” tweeted journalist Talia Lavin on Monday.
On Saturday, after Trump canceled his plan to hold the G7 at Doral, CREW pointed out that his bow to pressure did not cancel out his many other ethical breaches.
“The president’s reversal shows that pressure works, that those fighting to hold the line for an ethical government can still sometimes dial down his corruption,” said Bookbinder. “The president deserves no plaudits for doing the right thing only after public outcry forced him not to do the wrong thing. This was one corrupt conflict of interest. He’s racked up well over 2,000 of them. So we’ll keep fighting.”
CNN’s Chris Cuomo flattens Trump apologist David Urban for still spreading debunked Politico report lies
President Donald Trump's key CNN supporter, David Urban got into it with every person on the panel Thursday when he attempted to spin Fiona Hill's testimony.
The key Trump talking point is to cite a Politico article that has been debunked by American national intelligence and the testimony of the experts that have appeared under oath to the House Intelligence Committee.
As host CNN John King noted from the testimony, Hill and diplomat David Holmes are "critical" for making the case of Trump's corruption.
"Republicans are going to argue this is Trump being Trump, he was working outside the system," King said. "'Maybe you question Rudy Giuliani, but he wanted his guy's hands on the policy. You may not like it. Maybe it got ugly but it's not an impeachable offense.' That's where the Republicans are going to get us."
CNN’s Cuomo calls the GOP a ‘national security threat’ for still pushing Trump’s ‘ignorant’ Ukraine conspiracies
Devin Nunes says Dems are accusing Trump of ‘thought crime’ in Orwellian opening statement
On Thursday, ahead of testimony from National Security Council official Fiona Hill in the impeachment proceedings, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) unleashed a tirade of nonsense in his opening statement, claiming that President Donald Trump is being punished for a "thought crime," and listing off a bunch of false attacks on Democrats.
"President Trump, we are to believe, was just about to do something wrong, and getting caught was the only reason he backed down from whatever nefarious thought crime the Democrats are accusing him of almost committing," said Nunes. "I once again urge Americans to continue to consider the credibility of the Democrats on this committee who are now hurling these charges. For the last three years, it's not President Trump who got caught, it's the Democrats who got caught."