From The Reporter's Notebook
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) wrote a scathing Facebook post Sunday criticizing President-elect Donald Trump for taking to Twitter to demand an apology from the cast of the Broadway musical "Hamilton," who called out Mike Pence at a performance he attended, TPM's Kristin Salaky reported. "In campaign world, rapid response is vital. In governance, it can be lethal if it’s in reaction to things small and unimportant," he wrote. "It just strikes me as crazy that the soon-to-be leader of the free world would be waking up each morning this weekend and tweeting comments about what someone said at a play in New York."
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: "All of these versions of conflicts of interest broadly apply to people who are trying to accomplish their public roles in good faith but have inherent conflicts which might prevent them from doing so. At a minimum, we use this construct on the assumption that people are acting in good faith and not advancing their private interests with the powers of their office. That's the problem. The concept simply doesn't apply well when you are talking is a public official who is by design using their public office for profit. Everything we've seen from President-Elect Trump so far suggests this all comes so naturally to him that at some level he doesn't even see anything wrong with it. Indeed, this shouldn't be surprising since it matches with his entire career, in which he has used every angle on offer—publicity, stardom, connections with government officials, etc.—to make money or as tools he can leverage to make money for his private businesses."
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From a TPM Prime member: "This is not the issue that most of us here are most emotional about, but is is the one most likely to bring Trump down or embroil him in paralyzing controversy. So long as he does not divest himself of his business interests (and there is no indications he intends to do that) every contact with a foreign government is going to look crooked. Even if Trump wanted to be ethical, its not possible. The appearance of bribery is there and business and government interests will aid Trump's businesses even if he asked them not to."
Related: Trump spokesman Jason Miller said that legal counsel are "comfortable" with all the meetings the President-elect has held to date, including those with his business partners.
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