The New York Times is running an article entitled, “Trump Vows Steps to Avoid Appearance of Business Conflicts.” The article begins, “President-elect Donald J. Trump on Wednesday said he would take steps to separate himself from his vast, global business empire in the hopes of preventing the appearance of a conflict of interest as he becomes president.” It continues, “But Mr. Trump’s announcement, delivered in a series of early-morning posts on Twitter, drew an immediate rebuke from legal and ethics experts in Washington, who said that a close reading of the actual words in the posts suggests that Mr. Trump is not planning to take sufficient steps to eliminate the conflicts.”
The article adds, “The emphasis on ‘business operations,’ not on ownership, hinted that Mr. Trump is not ruling out retaining a financial stake in the Trump Organization or putting his children in control of the company. Ethics experts said such moves would leave Mr. Trump vulnerable to accusations that his official actions are motivated by personal financial interests.”
Read the article here.
Questions for Discussion
- What is a conflict of interest? Identify something that would be a conflict of interest for you? Why would this be a conflict of interest?
- From this article, what can we learn about the importance of individual words? How do we learn this? Do you think that Mr. Trump wanted to be evasive? Why/why not?
- According to the article Reince Priebus said, “You should know that he’s got the best people in the world working on it,’ adding that the American people were aware of Mr. Trump’s business entanglements when they elected him. ‘We are working on making sure that all those conflicts are taken care of.” What does this statement mean? Do you think that Mr. Trump should be obligated to disassociate himself from his business? Why/why not?
- Trump plans to “Make America Great Again.” What does this mean? What do you think Mr. Trump means when he says this? If you were elected president, what would you like to do to make America great?