US taxpayer-funded trips by Eric Trump to Turnberry is sign his father is ‘normalising kleptocracy’, says campaigner for good government.
In December 1990, a lawyer walked into the Trump Castle casino in Atlantic City and bought $3.3 million in chips. Donald Trump’s company was late on a debt repayment so the vast and mysterious purchase was a decidedly welcome infusion of hard cash.
Unfortunately, it was also an illegal loan – from none other than Fred C Trump, father of the future US President – and the Casino Control Commission later fined the Castle $65,000.
So The Scotsman’s exclusive report today that the US taxpayer has paid thousands of pounds towards the cost of trips by Donald’s son Eric to Trump Turnberry is perhaps not as surprising as it would have been about any other president in modern US history.
While the payments may – may – not have been illegal, they are certainly the latest entry on a growing list of ethically questionable connections between the Trump administration and his business empire. Trump Organisation-managed and branded properties have reportedly received a total of more than £12 million from US government agencies, his presidential campaign and Republican organisations since he decided to run for the White House. There is currently a debate – both inside and outside of court – about whether such actions are permissible under US Constitution as its ‘Emoluments Clause’ appears to prevent an incumbent from making money from the presidency.
But, according to one campaigner for good government, the case is clear. The public funding of Eric Trump’s Turnberry jaunts, she tells The Scotsman today, is “one more grievous example of how Donald Trump is normalising kleptocracy and ... profiting from the presidency”.
The 45th US President clearly takes a different view of such matters, as do other members of his family. Eric Trump has previously defended his and his siblings’ roles within the Trump Organisation by saying nepotism is “absolutely” a “beautiful thing”. The view seems to be there is nothing wrong with a father helping his children and if that father happens to be in charge of the world’s biggest economy so much the better, so much the richer.
To America’s shame, the president’s obvious and long list of moral failings did not prevent him from being elected. It can only be hoped that they will eventually lead to his downfall, so the world can be rid of this despicable and dangerous man.