Having come under criticism this week for characterizing his association with North Korea under Kim Jong Un as a special relationship — adopting a term normally reserved in the language of diplomacy to describe the tight and long-standing linkage between the United States and the United Kingdom — President Trump appeared to suggest with a Saturday retweet that not only he, personally, but the Trump Organization, his family business, was actively engaged in the work of safeguarding the vital transatlantic partnership.
Critics of the irregular presidential tweet quickly emerged, taking issue with it on ethical, logical and, most frequently, legal grounds, arguing it violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution:
Another day, another felony. Trump tweets promoting one of his failing golf courses in Scotland. Violates the Foreign Emoluments Act by using presidency to advance his financial self-Interest – yet again.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) March 2, 2019
This is Trump’s most explicit commingling of personal interests and public office to date.
This is the tone from the top that leads his appointees to violate ethics rules.
This is shameless, corrupt and repugnant presidential profiteering.
This is an invitation to graft. https://t.co/3Gce7RGEYW
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) March 2, 2019
Um, isn’t this an abuse of office?
§ 2635.702 Use of public office for private gain.
An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends…https://t.co/aKgWPk6kt4
— Greg Condon (@GregTheC) March 2, 2019
A U.S. president is promoting one of his private businesses. That’s corrupt.
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) March 2, 2019
How does this further UK relations? Using your position to advertise your golf course. Not quite fair is it?
— Judy Mackenzie (@HippyMummyMac) March 2, 2019
At least one critic played it for a laugh:
You know, people will scream about a president using the power of his office to promote his personal businesses, but my research has found shocking precedents. pic.twitter.com/5pmf13zXNd
— John Schwartz (@jswatz) March 2, 2019
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