While Donald Trump distracted the country with his last minute reversal on bombing Iran – perhaps worsening an already tense relationship – two other scandals of his surfaced, neither one to do with the Middle East or Russia. On late Thursday, the Washington Post revealed that Trump made at least $1.6 million off the federal government as well as the 2016 Republican presidential campaign, by encouraging government agencies to use his properties to host official events. Because the Washington Post’s numbers only go as far as the first half of 2017, the actual number that Trump raked in could be significantly higher.
Trump hardly shows any signs of slowing down, especially since Republican fundraisers hold events specifically at his hotels in the hope it will draw him out – yet another reason the party is beholden to him. While the media is heavily focused on any potential conflict in Iran, and Trump’s unconvincing act where he pretends to care about the casualties of such a conflict, Trump is pushing to host this year’s Group of Seven summit at his failing golf resort in Doral, Florida – persuading foreign governments to stay at his property and blatantly violating the Emoluments Clause, against the advice of his own ethics office.
The other scandal that leaked shortly after Trump’s escalation with Iran was yet another accusation of rape, published by New York Magazine, one that the victim told two of her close friends about, and which sounds similar to not only the other sexual assault accusations against Trump, but to his own words. While Trump may escalate what happens in Iran, or if the tension seemingly dissipates as it has with North Korea and Venezuela, what we are seeing is the peak of his presidency – mired in scandal while on the verge of chaos.
It’s not surprising that Trump is doing nothing in light of this averted crisis, aside from crying about the biased media, but he’s not even pretending to be doing something – rather than claim to be working on some new Iran deal that’s identical to the old one (and will probably be much more difficult to enforce), he’s busy refuting the New York Magazine article. In just a day, he’s given us a powerful reminder of the degree of damage he can do to not just America, but the entire world, all because of his own narcissism.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making