Every day brings a new reason why President Trump cannot meet the standards expected of every single person who works for him (except for the vice president). Take recent reports about the payment Trump attorney Michael Cohen “facilitated” for porn actress Stormy Daniels to help Trump in the waning days of the 2016 campaign. Despite Cohen’s carefully worded denials that he was not reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign, this week brought the news that he complained to friends that Trump had been slow to reimburse him, and that Trump was supposed to sign the settlement agreement under an assumed name.
Those revelations would halt any normal security or ethics clearance in its tracks. They suggest that the payment may in fact have been a loan from Trump’s attorney, and that Trump is the real beneficiary of the agreement and an associated LLC. Federal law requires Trump to report his liabilities and assets — yet no Stormy-related information appeared on his signed financial disclosure filings.
If Trump has an outstanding debt to Cohen for the $130,000 payment, or an interest in the LLC that holds the agreement, he should have disclosed them; our watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Office of Government Ethics asking them to get to the bottom of the matter. Such omissions — if any — would have been disqualifying in the White Houses in which we worked, and no clearances would have been forthcoming while any question remained open.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are literally hundreds of other issues. [Continue reading…]
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