President Donald Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution with his efforts to personally enrich himself while in office, a top ethics watchdog explained on MSNBC on Saturday.
"President Trump is spending the weekend at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, but it's his golf course in Scotland raising questions about potential conflicts of interest," MSNBC anchor Lindsey Reiser reported.
"President Trump this week denied reports that back in 2018 he pressured the U.S. ambassador to the U.K. to get the British Open golf tournament at his Turnberry property," she explained.
Reiser explained Trump's pattern.
"In the wake of a pandemic that has crippled the nation, this is a story you may have heard little about, though it might sound familiar, that's because just last year, the White House chose the Trump National Doral resort in Miami as the site of a G-7 meeting. After intense criticism, the administration backed off the location," she reminded. "Last fall, in an official visit to Ireland, Vice President Mike Pence and his entourage of Secret Service stayed at trump's resort in Doonbeg, that despite the fact that the vice president's meetings were 180 miles away in Ireland's capital of Dublin. Adding to that, a New York Times count of 275 times the president has visited his family-owned golf courses since taking office."
For analysis, Reiser interviewed Richard Painter, who was the White House chief ethics attorney in the George W. Bush administration.
"This request for the British Open, unethical, is it unconstitutional?" Reiser asked.
"It's definitely unconstitutional, this is a violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution," Painter replied. "The founders were very intent that no one who holds a position of trust and confidence with the United States government ought to be permitted to receive profits and benefits from foreign governments."
"Clearly unconstitutional, he has been soliciting emoluments around the globe, it's been going on for a long time, and it needs to be shut down," Painter explained.
"I think he knows he's on the way out the door and he's going to take as much as he can off the table, and as much as he can between now and January 20th," Painter said.