“Nixonian”: Journalists React To Trump’s Declaration That As President, He “Can’t Have A Conflict Of Interest”

“Nixonian”: Journalists React To Trump’s Declaration That As President, He “Can’t Have A Conflict Of Interest”

During an on-the-record meeting with The New York Times staff, President-elect Donald Trump declared that there is no legal need for him to free himself of his international business affairs to avoid conflicts of interest, flatly saying that presidents “can’t have a conflict of interest.” Journalists responded to Trump’s declaration by calling it “Nixonian,” referencing former President Richard Nixon’s comment to journalist David Frost that “when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

Times reporters live-tweeted the meeting between Trump and newspaper staff, where he was asked about the numerous conflicts of interest he is facing with his business ties and his plans to turn over his businesses to his children while simultaneously involving them in his White House transition. In his replies, Trump said it’s not necessary for him to put his businesses in any kind of trust and that, as president, he “can’t have a conflict of interest” — echoing an argument made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani that financial conflict-of-interest laws don’t apply to the presidency.

Journalists responded to Trump’s declaration by calling it “Nixonian” in nature, a reference to President Richard Nixon telling David Frost in a May 1977 interview that “when the president does it, that means it is not illegal”:

In fact, legal experts across the political spectrum have warned that presidential conflicts of interest of this type “could violate a crucial constitutional protection against corruption and influence by other governments,” specifically the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution — “essentially an antibribery rule, which forbids public servants from accepting anything of value from foreign powers without explicit congressional approval.”

Source: MM4A
“Nixonian”: Journalists React To Trump’s Declaration That As President, He “Can’t Have A Conflict Of Interest”

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