Former Head Of Govt Ethics: 'Horrified' Trump Balked At Financial Disclosure Form

The former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub Jr., told CNN that when Trump's lawyer wanted to submit the so-called president's financial disclosure forms without his signature on them, "it was truly the weirdest moment of my entire career."

A little over a week ago Shaub appeared on ABC's THIS WEEK and told George Stephanopoulos that Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus told him to "be careful" speaking out after Trump announced that he would not sell his assets or place them in a blind trust as recent presidents have done.

CNN New Day host Chris Cuomo interviewed the former chief of the OGE this morning and he explained some of the deceit he had to deal with.

Shaub explained how troubling it was that Trump promotes his own properties while being president.

He also bashed Trump's patriotism, saying Trump's refused to lock up his assets in a trust. Schaub said, "That's the price of public service. It hasn't been easy and it hasn't been fun to tell him that, but [for other presidents] basic patriotism prevails and they always do it. So I don't know why the president would be held to a lower standard than the people who work for him."

He then recounted "the weirdest moment of his entire career" when Trump's attorney wanted to submit his financial disclosure forms without signing them.

Shaub said, "I was horrified when I sat across the table from his attorney and she asked me if he could file it without signing it to certify that it’s true. I pointed out to her that millions of financial disclosure reports have been filed in the past four decades and every one of them has been certified as true, and I think we could ask that of our President.”

Cuomo said, "His lawyer asked you if he didn't have to sign it to certify it as true?"

Shaub said he gave the attorney an ultimatum which is if you want certification then you have to sign them. Eventually, they caved in.


↓ Story continues below ↓

Shaub then talked about Trump's refusal to release his tax returns. A common refrain from Trump supporters is they knew what they were getting with Trump.

He countered by saying, they didn't know because he never released his tax forms "the way every other presidential candidate did."

Cuomo asked if he knew Trump was actually under audit, but the OGE doesn't get that information.

Cuomo asked him to expound on Trump's attorney not wanting him to sign his financial forms and he said, "It was truly the weirdest moment of my entire career. I practically had to pinch myself to make sure I was awake."

He continued, "I thought, this is the embodiment of exactly how far we've departed from the ethical norms that the American people are entitled to expect their leaders to live up to."

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.