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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

2016 Election Analysis - Part 6: Unprecedented Conflicts

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 12/13/16 23:38, Edited: 12/13/16 23:42

by Dave Mindeman

Hidden beneath the surface during the 2016 election and barely touched on by the media, was the unprecedented real time conflicts of interest which envelope Donald Trump.

One flippant remark about giving his company to 3 of his adult children which "might" qualify as a "blind trust", was the only means of addressing a very real and potentially disastrous problem for a businessman turned President with vast international holdings.

Spoiler alert: handing his business over to his children is NOT a blind trust.

Hillary Clinton's international connections were well known and the press examined ever detail for any appearance of conflict. They found some appearance of conflict - but there has never been any accusation of substantive conflict involving the Clinton Foundation. Her connections are transparent and open.

But with Trump, we cannot even get the simplest information. Tax returns have been released by every candidate in the modern era. Trump refused. His broad Federal election report tells us very little. Numbers are put together in the aggregate without specifics. We simply do not know the details of his international holdings. And the ones we do know about show a growing potential for conflict - even before he takes office.

A disturbing event has already revealed itself in which the Turkish strong arm ruler has arrested some of Trump's business associates...while that government awaits extradition of a dissident opponent living in the US. The Obama administration has refused to extradite - but what of Trump? Now that the Turkish leader has produced "leverage"?

Trump has made it clear that he does not look at international relations in terms of diplomacy and protocol. He thinks of everything as a potential deal in the making. Foreign governments will learn to seek their own "leverage" on how they deal with this administration. And how nuclear dictators will respond is anybody's guess.

Donald Trump is fully capable of playing the "brinksmanship" game. He has done it in his business deals - he will probably do it in international relations. The trouble with all that is that in business, brinkmanship involves scuttling a deal and walking away. In international terms, we are talking about more dangerous results.

A loose cannon like Trump was never meant to be President of the United States. Get ready for a very bumpy ride.
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