New York Times editorial condemns Trump's presidential influence

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New York Times editorial condemns Trump's presidential influence
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11 October 2020
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U.S. President Donald Trump has built a system of direct presidential influence that is unrivaled in modern U.S. politics, according to an editorial published on Sunday in The New York Times.

The publication points out that Trump not only failed to end Washington's internal culture of lobbying and favor-seeking, but reinvented it, turning his own hotels and resorts into the new back rooms where public and private business mix and special interests reign.

As president-elect, the commentary notes, he pledged to withdraw from the Trump Organization and recuse himself from the operation of his private enterprise.  Data on the president's federal taxes and his business empire, which were recently revealed by The New York Times, showed that even as he used his image as a successful businessman to win the presidency, large swaths of his real estate holdings were under financial pressure and lots subsstantial amounts of capital.

Once Trump was in the White House, his family business discovered a lucrative new source of income: people who wanted something from the president, the Times notes.  A Times investigation found more than 200 companies, special interest groups and foreign governments that sponsored the president's properties while reaping benefits from him and his administration.

Tax records -- along with membership lists from Mar-a-Lago and the president's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, as well as other sources -- reveal how much money the New York real estate mogul's new line of business was worth.

It is unclear whether it is legally permissible for Trump, both entrepreneur and president, to monitor and be aware of the actions of his business organization, according to the editorial in The New York Times.

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