Washington —In an administration defined by nonstop scandals and abuses of power, President Trump will conclude his first and only term in office as the most corrupt president in American history with more than 3,7000 conflicts of interest since assuming the presidency, according to a new report released today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The twice-impeached president relentlessly promoted and encouraged visits to his properties throughout his time in office, using patronage as a marker of loyalty to him and a key strategy for those wishing to curry favor with him and influence administration policy.
This definitive report of Trump’s conflicts details some of the most glaring examples of presidential corruption in our nation’s history. Trump’s refusal to divest from his businesses blurred the line between his public responsibilities and his private financial interests, leading to an ever-growing list of conflicts of interest. CREW first began tracking the conflicts of interest between the presidency, the president’s businesses, and those trying to influence government decisions and public policies, such as members of Congress, industry groups, lobbyists and cabinet officials, at the beginning of his presidency.
“For the past four years, the Trump administration has again and again made decisions motivated by the personal, financial, political and legal interests of the president, rather than the interests of the American people,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “Starting with his decision not to divest from his business interests while in office, there is no doubt that President Trump at every turn sought to find ways to use the presidency to enrich himself, his family, and his businesses. His efforts from the moment he took office to tailor the presidency to benefit his own personal interests set the stage for the lawlessness, corruption, and assaults on democracy that characterized his four years in power.”
Highlights from the report include:
- President Trump has made nearly 550 visits to the properties he owns and profits from, including 145 visits to Mar-a-Lago, over 320 visits to his golf courses, and over 30 visits to the Trump hotel in Washington. His insistence on spending time at his properties has resulted in at least a million dollars in taxpayer money being spent at his properties.
- Nearly 350 executive branch officials made over 990 visits to Trump properties during Trump’s term. The president and his cabinet frequently mixed business with pleasure, oftentimes conducting official business at these non-secure locations, and the president often solicited members of his clubs and visitors at his properties for policy advice and guidance.
- Far from holding the president accountable for his conflict of interest, 143 members of Congress have patronized Trump properties, totaling over 360 visits over the course of the last four years. These visits often coincide with events held by special interests or wealthy political donors that solidified his properties as centers of power and raked in millions of dollars for his businesses.
- CREW found that as many as 30 special interests received favorable policy outcomes from the Trump Administration around the time that they held an event at a Trump property.
- At least 150 foreign officials from 77 foreign governments have visited one of Trump’s properties, with top Trump administration officials rewarding foreign interests for patronizing their boss’s businesses. Twenty Trump officials attended a foreign government group’s event at a Trump property over the last four years.
“While President Trump may be leaving office next week, in the coming weeks and months, CREW will continue to analyze and examine the damage that has been done by the Trump presidency to our nation’s commitment to ethics,” Bookbinder said. “President Trump and all those who enabled him to disregard our country’s anti-corruption and conflicts of interest rules and safeguards will not escape accountability.”