The fleecing begins in earnest.
Minutes after taking office, Trump’s staff scrubbed the official White House website of any mention of things inconvenient to conservatives. The phrase “climate change” was erased in its entirety. The pages talking about civil rights and LGBT rights were deleted. A new page promoting oil and gas was put up.
And then the blatant advertisements for Trump family products started.
As the Washington Post noticed, visitors to Trump’s version of WhiteHouse.gov will find that Melania Trump’s bio includes “details on her jewelry line at QVC.” It also lists the magazine covers she’s been featured on…
It is not uncommon for the White House to note the accomplishments of the first lady in her official biography, but Trump’s decision to include a detailed list of her media appearances is unusual.
The site also lists the brand names of Trump’s jewelry lines sold on QVC, at a time when questions have been raised by critics about the ethical implications of the family’s business entanglements.
“Melania is also a successful entrepreneur. In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection, ‘Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry,’ on QVC,” the site reads.
And yes, using his station as President of the United States to enrich his family by hocking Melania brand “timepieces and jewelry” is explicitly forbidden in the Constitution. This marks Trump’s second constitutional violation within hours to taking office. (His D.C. hotel was supposed to stop accepting money from politicians and foreign diplomats but has refused to do so.)
The Trump family has made no secret of hoping to financially gain from Trump’s bumble into the White House. After the Republican National Convention, Ivanka quickly began selling off the stuff she wore to the event. And later both she and her brothers would get in trouble for tacitly suggesting donors could give money to her pet projects and gain access to the future president. (She would later be forced to rescind the offer following public outcry.)
It’s hard to expect anything different from the Trump family. Fleecing is all they know. Trump has built his brand up over decades, and through endless fraud lawsuits. Now, with the power of the White House, the long con has reached its final conclusion. And Republicans in Congress – the guys typically tasked with stopping this sort of flagrant violation of the Constitution – seem more interested in scoring tax cuts for millionaires than operating checks-and-balances on Trump.
Featured image via Scott Olson/Getty Images