2017-09-18 15:51:52

Ethics Violations Pile Up Around Trump and Cabinet

GUEST: Stephen Spaulding, Chief of Strategy and External Relations with Common Cause.

BACKGROUND: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is back in the news after reports emerged that he had requested the use of a military jet to fly him to Europe for his honeymoon. The former Goldman Sachs banker apparently did not see a problem with spending $25,000 per hour of taxpayers' money to fly a jet for personal use. His new wife Louise Linton in August also garnered attention for instagramming her designer clothing in a photo of herself disembarking from a military jet and then chastising a critic publicly saying her trip was not for personal reasons.

And, earlier in September Donald Trump himself was the focus of a new and troubling report that found wealthy executives with government contracts flocking to Trump's golf courses to gain access to the executive branch directly. Trump personally benefits from membership fees.

Most recently Politico discovered that the Office of Government Ethics decided quietly to end a policy prohibiting White House staffers from accepting anonymous donations from lobbyists to their legal defense funds. There is speculation that the police reversal may be helping staffers pay attorneys over the Russia-related investigation.

Has there ever been a President around whom so many questions of ethics violations have emerged so thick and fast? 

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