President Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest have managed to center around China with unusual frequency this week. Let’s dive in.
President Donald Trump has issued ethics waivers for four ex-lobbyists
This story practically speaks for itself. Trump, the man who made “drain the swamp” into a slogan during his 2016 presidential campaign, has issued 17 ethics waivers for people working for either him or Vice President Mike Pence. Of those 17 waivers, four have gone to former lobbyists — three staffers at the National Economic Council and the chief of staff for Pence himself.
Chinese activists go missing when investigating Ivanka Trump’s factory
It’s scary enough that two Chinese activists investigating labor abuses at one of Ivanka Trump’s Chinese factories have gone missing, while a third was arrested. Making matters worse, however, is the fact that this may have had to do with the Chinese government’s desire to remain on the Trumps’ good side. As China Labor Watch director Li Qjang told The Guardian, he believes the activists may have been targeted because “this factory makes products for Ivanka Trump, so now this situation has become political and very complicated.”
Jared Kushner’s family uses Trump to promote more investments to Chinese businessmen
In less sinister China-related news, Bloomberg reports that a Jersey City apartment project being developed by Murray Kushner, the uncle of Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, was pitched to Chinese investors in a way that explicitly referenced the family’s connections to the president. Although Jared Kushner himself wasn’t involved in the project and Kushner Cos. sent a cease-and-desist letter to Murray Kushner’s company when they heard about the pitch, the fact that this pitch occurred at all speaks to how those connected with Trump are seeking to cash in on his presidency.