Donald Trump has announced that he’s not divesting from his company, meaning there may be numerous conflict of interests stemming from his apparent fondness for Vladimir Putin and his warm attitude towards Russia.
by Adrian Knowler
During his first press conference of 2017, Donald Trump finally conceded that the Russian government was behind the hacking targeted at the DNC and Democratic candidates during last year’s election. This is a change of course for the President-Elect, who had previously criticized reports made by the CIA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies based on their investigations of the hacks. Trump has insisted that the hacking didn’t impact the election results, presumably worried about the evidence tainting his historic victory. He had already contested Hillary Clinton’s near 3 million vote lead in the popular vote by tweeting on November 27 that there were ‘millions of people who voted illegally’, citing absolutely zero evidence. It was another of his series of “I’ve heard that…” or “people are saying…” claims for that non-fact checkers take seriously. Remember when he said he saw thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey during the days following the September 11 attacks, but nobody has been able to find any video or photo evidence of these celebrations occurring? Don’t forget he was one of the first ‘birthers’, promoters of the myth that President Obama was born in Kenya, and Trump publicly demanded that Obama produce his birth certificate. His defense of these claims is now more than adamant, and his tales have graduated dangerously from fear mongering to conspiracy theories. Ironically, now that Trump is nearly in power, the spotlight is burning bright. Unsubstantiated reports have surfaced that say the Russian government has a blackmail dossier on Donald Trump., He’s had to deny this publicly, and it has been interesting to watch Trump react to rumors instead of spread them, the shoe now on the other foot.
Even if the salacious rumors about Trump turn out to be baseless, one can’t help but wonder if he is compromised in some way by Vladimir Putin or financial ties to some Russian investors and corporations. Trump has a history of business in Russia. He’s previously operated the Miss Universe competition in Russia, and started negotiations to build a Trump International Hotel in Moscow, although no deal ever materialized. As a potential market for his business, Russia has been an exciting opportunity for Trump in the past. He’s announced that he’s not divesting from his company, meaning there may be numerous conflict of interests stemming from his apparent fondness for Vladimir Putin and his warm attitude towards Russia. His stance on improving Russian relations absolutely would be seen as a positive shift in US foreign policy at Trump’s headquarters in New York. It’s entirely possible that his administration’s foreign policy will be guided by simply what’s best for business. His own business. We don’t know if the future of US foreign policy will be conceived in the Oval Office or a Trump Tower board room.