Tuesday, June 27, 2017


The Hill reports:
Trump promotes Fox News host’s book on Twitter

President Trump on Tuesday promoted Fox News host Eric Bolling's new book, "The Swamp," by retweeting Bolling's tweet that says Trump has a copy.
Yup -- here's Bolling's tweet promoting his book:

And here's a screenshot of Trump's retweet:

When Kellyanne Conway used a TV appearance to promote Ivanka Trump merchandise, she was chastised by the White House:
Kellyanne Conway has been rebuked by the White House after she appeared on television urging the public to buy the branded products of the president’s daughter Ivanka....

Richard Painter, former White House chief ethics lawyer to former president George W Bush, said federal employees were prohibited from using their official position for private gain for “yourself or anybody, including your boss”.
She was later rebuked by Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics, although the OGE did not have the authority to punish her (and the White House, of course, chose not to).

Here's the law in question:
§ 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, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity, including nonprofit organizations of which the employee is an officer or member, and persons with whom the employee has or seeks employment or business relations. The specific prohibitions set forth in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section apply this general standard, but are not intended to be exclusive or to limit the application of this section.
Trump was affiliated with Fox News in a nongovernmental capacity -- he appeared on Fox & Friends on a regular basis. He's a close friend of Rupert Murdoch, who runs Fox News.

We know that Trump is flagrantly violating the Constitution's emoluments clause on an ongoing basis. This is trivial by comparison. But The Hill story doesn't even raise the question of whether this is an ethics violation.

It is. But as with Trump's presidential buckraking, we'll all just shrug and move on.

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