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Swamp1If there was any single thing (and there isn’t) that caused Hillary to lose the election, it was conflict of interest, apparent if not actual (apparent is enough, but there’s no legitimate question about actual). You know what we’re talking about: The Clinton Foundation as the pay for play mechanism. If you think that’s been kosher, then, you know it, I have some beachfront in Nebraska I want to show you.

Donald has said he’s going to drain the swamp, referring mostly to the long overdue need to rid D.C. of those conflicted lobbyists. Good on him. But there’s more. A lot more. It starts first and foremost with the first family elect. The kids. And the Trump brand.

Don’t misunderstand. I think we have to give Donald a chance to do great things. And I think Donald’s three oldest kids are terrific. Maybe even presidential. Maybe more presidential than their dad. But that misses the point. We didn’t elect Donald’s kids. Just like we didn’t elect Michelle. Or Hillary (not only this time, but also when she was the first lady).

When someone comes to the White House to visit our President concerning official matters, his kids shouldn’t be there. Neither should his wife. If the occasional is purely social, that’s of course another matter. I welcome them serving as unofficial social ambassadors, but that should be it.

While we’re on the kids, back to the pay for play issue. A blind trust to hold Donald’s assets is no blind trust if his kids are the trustees. We have a long history of Presidential blind trusts. The trustee or trustees must be fully independent individuals or entities. And they must liquidate and reinvest the President’s assets without any knowledge or participation on the part of the President, or any awareness of what the replacement assets are. In Donald’s case, there are a lot of assets, but that doesn’t change the wisdom, necessity or fundamental mechanics of a blind trust. A trust administered by the President’s kids (spelled heirs) is hardly independent or blind. That’s a 20/20 trust. (Can I copyright that expression?)

And, so long as Donald’s trust still owns any of his hotels or other properties, when anyone comes calling on Donald about anything, staying in one of his hotels or other properties should be absolutely verboten. No exceptions. Period. Nor should they play any of his golf courses with him or with anyone working in his administration. There’s no shortage of other really nice golf courses in D.C. (even if Donald doesn’t think any of them hold a candle to courses he has developed). And so long as Donald still maintains an interest in those properties, the brand name “Trump” should be removed from those properties. Leaving one’s ego at the door is the price of being a good public servant, particularly a good President.

One more point: Rudy Giuliani. Ignoring some of his reported questionable social mores (I wasn’t there, I don’t know), I really admire the quality of the man’s s public service. As Mayor of NY during 9/11 and its aftermath, he was nothing short of fantastic. Not just the people of New York, but people across our entire country as well, owe Rudy a great debt of gratitude.  But, if I understand the facts correctly, that Rudy has served as a lobbyist in D.C. for middle east countries at times when they were acting adversely to U.S. interests, then Donald just cannot tap Rudy for a cabinet position. As long as Rudy registered as a foreign agent (the Clintons never have, but their wrongs wouldn’t excuse Rudy), it is perfectly fine for him to lobby on behalf of those countries. But that’s not the issue. Donald has promised to clean the swamp. That includes his good friend and supporter Rudy. The swamp won’t be cleaned if Rudy is in Donald’s cabinet. It has to be that Rudy supported Donald’s candidacy for Donald, and for our country, but not for his own interests.

So, how are you coming with that swampy drain, Donald? You can’t have it both ways, not if you want to build the trust and good will of we the people.

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