Washington, September 24, 2020 — Averaging more than two conflicts of interest per day, President Trump continues to be the most corrupt president in history, engaging in more than 3,400 conflicts of interest since taking office, according to a new report released today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Since CREW issued its last conflicts report in February, President Trump has engaged in an additional 400 conflicts of interest and made millions of dollars for his personal businesses. Today’s report details some of the most glaring examples of presidential corruption and conflicts of interest ever raised by a president, all of which stem from his refusal to divest from his businesses.
Since the beginning of his presidency, CREW has tracked interactions between the president, the Trump Organization, and those trying to influence government decisions and public policies, including members of Congress, industry groups, lobbyists and cabinet officials. These interactions have continued to blur the lines between where President Trump’s public responsibilities end and his private financial interests begin, and between his loyalty to the Trump Organization and his obligations to the American public.
“For nearly four years, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that any claim of separation from his business was a lie. The extraordinary numbers in this report paint a picture of a president who is fixated on the personal financial benefits he might derive from his public service–and a whole ecosystem of officials, special interests and governments that exploit that fixation in order to curry favor and advance their own interests,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder.
“As the president continues to harness the office of the presidency for his own personal gain, Americans can no longer trust that he makes decisions in our interest, rather than his own,” Bookbinder said. “From foreign governments and industries throwing lavish events at his properties to donors and customers buying their way to ambassadorships and top political offices, corruption surrounds this president literally every day.”
Highlights from the report include:
- President Trump has made more than 500 visits to the properties he owns and profits from. The president’s frequent travel to and from his properties has cost American taxpayers well over $100 million.
- President Trump has made more than 300 visits to the golf courses he owns and profits from, despite saying repeatedly during his presidential campaign in 2016 he would not have time for golf. His insistence on spending time at his properties has resulted in at least a million dollars in taxpayer money being spent at his properties.
- 141 members of Congress have patronized Trump properties. These visits often coincide with events held by special interests or wealthy political donors that rake in millions of dollars for his properties.
- Special interest groups, many of which have business before the Trump administration, have hosted or sponsored 130 events at Trump properties since he took office. Political groups have held another 88 events at Trump properties.
- Foreign government-tied entities have held 13 events at Trump properties, and at least 145 foreign officials have visited one of Trump’s properties. Foreign governments have granted President Trump’s businesses 67 trademarks, and have awarded additional trademarks to his daughter’s business, all potentially in an effort to secure favorable treatment from the Trump administration.
“President Trump has repeatedly used his office to promote his businesses and grant wealthy paying customers personal access to him, his staff, and those who have his ear,” Bookbinder said. “It is a gross abuse of public trust, and with each conflict, he becomes more complicit in the destruction of the ethical norms that form the cornerstone of a working democracy.”
Click here to view the report.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org