For those wondering how long it would take Donald Trump to use his occupancy of the White House to illegally promote his business interests, the answer is less than three hours. Trump and his team have already taken over the official White House website, removing all references to health care, climate change, and civil rights, because it appears those things won’t exist in Trump’s America. In its place, whitehouse.gov is now instead promoting Melania Trump’s jewelry collection. We wish we were making this up:
On the official bio posted for “First Lady Melania Trump” the text reads, among other things: “Melania is also a successful entrepreneur. In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection, “Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry”, on QVC.” That’s right, the White House website is telling Americans to go buy Melania’s jewelry, and it’s telling you which retailer to buy it from.
Update: since we published this story, the Trump administration has edited Melania’s bio on the White House website. However, we have before and after screen captures:
This represents a clear cut violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. However the House Republican majority is highly unlikely to impeach Trump, meaning he won’t be reined in on this kind of illegal fraud unless and until the Democrats take control of the House in 2018.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report