Thursday, September 8, 2016

If Clinton Foundation must be "shut down," why not Trump businesses with foreign investors?

PR consultant Eric Schmeltzer contributed this piece to the Huffington Post:
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"From the Washington Post, to USA Today, to the Wall Street Journal, and more . . . .  [T]he argument, as it goes is that even, if there is no impropriety, the Clinton Foundation just looks like a conduit for improper influence over a Clinton presidency. . . . They say the mere existence of the Foundation - right now, today - as a Clinton operation does not allow the American people to have full confidence that foreign governments, and other moneyed interests, aren’t buying access and policy."

[But what about the Trump Organization, all those business deals in foreign lands with foreign governments, all those loans from foreign investors?]

"Oh, there’s been nary a peep from our esteemed opinion pages regarding the flood of money from foreign entities into the Trump Organization.  Not one word about the impropriety of a candidate for President still operating a business that relies on deals in foreign lands, with foreign governments.

"The New York Daily News, this past weekend, found that Donald Trump’s been doing a lot of big deals with the Saudi government, putting a lot of money into his pocket.  We know that the Trump Organization makes a lot of money off its resorts in Dubai and Bali, and has a big deal going on in Turkey and the Philippines.

"We know that Donald Trump, Jr said, 'Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.'  How does all that money coming in give the American people the confidence that Donald Trump isn’t selling future access and policy, right now, in exchange for cash?

"To his credit, like the Clintons, Donald Trump said he would disassociate himself from his business, if elected.  He’d just let his kids run it.  Now, if you believe that Donald Trump would have no idea who is and who isn’t investing in his namesake corporation while he is president, then I have a Trump University degree to sell you.

"Of course there is one very key difference between money the Clinton Foundation may take, if Hillary Clinton is elected, versus money that the Trump Organization may take, if Trump is elected President.

"The Trump Organization money would go directly into Donald Trump’s family’s bank account.  Clinton Foundation money has not yet, and would not in the future, make it into the Clinton’s wallets.  [It is used by the Foundation to encourage and fund good works that benefit millions of people worldwide.]

"All while he is president, the Trump Organization would continue to make deals with foreign nationals, foreign governments, domestic governments, domestic developers, licencees, and more.  But, unlike the Clintons, Trump would stand to gain financially from such deals. . . . 

"So, what say you, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and everyone else calling for the Clinton Foundation to shut down, right now?  . . . .  How about you, punditry?  Do the “optics” look bad enough for you to say . . . .  The Trump Organization:  Shut it down?

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Good point.   We know Trump gets far more than equal time coverage on TV.   Now we're beginning to see questions about the fairness in criticism.   Why should an invaluable charitable foundation that benefits millions be compared as equivalent to a business empire that benefits only that business empire?


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