President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that forbids any Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. and suspends immigration from seven different predominately Muslim countries for 90 days, none of which are locations for the former New York businessman’s real estate business.
The seven countries listed in the order are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The controversial order was heralded by some, but also met with confusion and public fury as federal agencies scrambled to implement the new rules and protests erupted at airports across the country.
Amidst all the chaos, some media outlets have pointed out that the Trump Organization does not have business interests located in any of the seven countries the so-called ban applies to.
Although most stories are careful to report the facts without interpretation, questions regarding conflict of interest will continue to be asked until President Trump separates himself completely from his vast business network. So far it appears that Trump has begun the process of transferring his company’s holdings to his adult sons, but has refused to used a blind trust.
“He needs to sell his businesses outside his family and place the assets in a blind trust, otherwise every decision he makes people are going to question if he’s making the decision in the interests of the American people or his own bottom line,” said Jordan Libowitz of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Some critics of Trump’s immigration crackdown are questioning why those particular seven countries were named in the order, given that other predominately Muslim nations also have a recent history of terror and could potentially pose a threat to national security.
One example of a country that meets that criteria is Turkey, which has struggled with terrorist attacks for years. The Trump organization has a well-documented business presence in that country.
As Richard Painter points out in an editorial for the New York Times, Trump may not be hand-picking countries completely based on where his business interests exist, but he certainly has the potential to benefit from it.
“The arbitrary and discriminatory nature of this order is bad enough; but if the president is also considering payoffs to the Trump organization, it’s much worse,” Painter wrote.
Again, the only way to put these questions to bed is for the president to heed the call for separation, and build a wall between him and the Trump Organization.
[The Atlantic] [Washington Post] [The Daily Beast] [New York Times] [Photo courtesy Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images via Q13 Fox]