Trump Miscellany

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Not a surprise at this point, but the Post has a story explaining that Trump’s call withe the President of Taiwan was planned in advanced by staff on both sides.

Meanwhile, as the Times reports, when Ivanka Trump sat in on that meeting with her father and Japanese PM Abe, her company was in the midst of finalizing a detail with a Japanese apparel giant which – through a few layers of ownership – is majority owned by the government of Japan

From the Times

When Donald J. Trump hosted a foreign leader for the first time as president-elect, the guest list included a curious entry: Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who looked on last month while he and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan chatted on a white couch high above Manhattan.

Some 6,700 miles from Trump Tower, in Tokyo, another exclusive gathering was already underway: a two-day private viewing of Ivanka Trump products, teeming with Trump-branded treasures like a sample of the pale pink dress Ms. Trump wore to introduce her father at the Republican National Convention.

Ms. Trump is nearing a licensing deal with the Japanese apparel giant Sanei International, both parties told The New York Times. The largest shareholder of Sanei’s parent company is the Development Bank of Japan, which is wholly owned by the Japanese government.

As I’ve written now several times, I continue to believe we are collectively doing a disservice to the truth by speaking of ‘conflicts’ and ‘complications that seems certain to persist.’ There are no conflicts and complications. The Trumps are using the presidency to advance … ‘advance’ is insufficient … to warp drive their business to a realm it has never been in before and never would have been. We know they are currently advancing major new business ventures in numerous foreign countries, all of which need to manage a positive relationship with the United States and its head of state.

This was all but inevitable. But I confess I thought it would be something that was done a bit more secretly, something the details of which would need to be clawed out by investigators over months and years. It’s not. It’s completely open.

If Trump had taken over Walmart or Amazon or a major golf brand he would of course use it to leverage his other businesses. No one would find this improper. That’s how business works. But here the business is the United States. They don’t recognize the difference. Or they don’t care about the difference. It doesn’t matter.

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