Donald Trump continues to see the presidency as the greatest marketing tool of all time. He even uses negative outcomes as an opportunity to tout his brand. The U.K. Supreme Court has ordered Trump to pay the Scottish government’s legal fees stemming from a multi-year lawsuit that he filed. History seems to eerily repeat itself where Trump is concerned.
After Trump purchased land in Scotland in 2006 to build “the world’s greatest golf course” on the Aberdeenshire Coast (BBC), he became entangled with neighbors to his property, Moira and David Milne. Trump erected fencing along the Milnes’ property to separate them from the course, and pouring salt in the wound, sent the Milnes a bill for part of the fencing. Sound familiar? The Milnes now have a Mexican flag next to their Scottish flag “in solidarity with [Mexico]” according to the BBC, because of Trump’s promise to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. No wonder he was so bold with that promise. Little did we know that he has done this in the past.
Trump was further stymied in his endeavors by the introduction of a wind farm, which he claimed ruined the view from his golf course and hotel. He sued. As the suit worked its way through the courts, the Scottish government won at every level, ultimately prevailing in the U.K. Supreme Court, which has ordered Trump to reimburse the government. How did Trump react to his loss? By tweeting, of course: “Very proud of perhaps the greatest golf course anywhere in the world. Also, furthers U.K. relationship!” Really?
Walter Shaub, former head of U.S. Office of Government Ethics, who almost immediately resigned when Trump took office, points out that Trump continues to violate the Emoluments Clause. Shaub now advises Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which has sued Trump, and responded to his tweet: “There it is. The president is using an official statement as an ad for his business and making sure everyone knows he ties his business to US relationships with foreign countries.” Shaub adds: “This is Trump’s most explicit commingling of personal interests and public office to date.”
So, is Donald Trump stupid or is he just arrogant enough to believe he will continue to get away with his inappropriate actions? I vote for the latter, though I don’t think he’s very bright either. Even though Trump allegedly turned over control of his businesses to his sons, Trump still owns the businesses and as a result is profiting from them, which seemingly violates the clause. His repeated “victory tweets” about his businesses certainly don’t help. Trump thinks he’s untouchable. Perhaps a more apropos nickname for him is “The Don” as opposed to his much-loved “The Donald.” Let’s just hope he’s not a Teflon Don. Wait – on second thought… who was it that took down the original Teflon Don? Oh right, Robert Mueller.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years