This week alone we have now seen three examples of Donald Trump very much being part of the swamp he has sworn to drain.
First we start with the Carrier deal. Touted as saving American jobs, which turned into a big tax break for Carrier, we start seeing what may have been Trump's real motivator:
President-elect Donald Trump in recent years has had an investment of as much as $250,000 in the parent of the company he pushed to shelve plans to move its Indianapolis factory to Mexico.
Mr. Trump in 2014 owned an investment between $100,001 and $250,000 in United Technologies Corp., according to financial disclosure forms filed during the presidential campaign. It couldn’t be learned whether he still had a financial investment in the company because disclosure forms are filed only annually. Mr. Trump’s 2015 disclosure is the most recent one available and was filed in May 2016.
So there is a good chance that instead of saving jobs, Trump decided to pad his portfolio a little more.
Then we head a bit more east, where protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline are heating up. This week saw Donald Trump embracing his support for the project:
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday said for the first time that he supports the completion of a pipeline project near a North Dakota Indian reservation, which has been the subject of months of protests by tribes and environmentalists.
Could there be a motivator here, say the same kind of cronyism we have seen throughout Washington for years? Well of course there is:
President-elect Donald Trump holds stock in the company building the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, and pipeline opponents warn that Trump’s investments could affect any decision he makes on the $3.8 billion project as president.
Trump’s 2016 federal disclosure forms show he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. That’s down from between $500,000 and $1 million a year earlier.
And finally, let's head east to Taiwan, a country we severed diplomatic ties with nearly 40 years ago.
Yesterday news broke that Trump held a phone conversation with the President of Taiwan, something no other President or President-elect has done since we severed diplomatic ties with the pacific nation in 1979:
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone on Friday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, a transition team spokeswoman said, in a move likely to infuriate China and expected to complicate relations.
The call, confirmed by Trump transition spokeswoman Hope Hicks, was the first such contact with Taiwan by a president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter adopted a one-China policy in 1979.
The transition team later issued a statement saying that the two had noted that "close economic, political and security ties exist between Taiwan and the United States."
That last part is the most curious of this, where his team mentions economic ties. Could those ties in anyway affect Trump? You betcha!
The mayor of Taoyuan confirmed rumors on Wednesday that US president-elect Donald Trump was considering constructing a series of luxury hotels and resorts in the northwest Taiwanese city.
A representative from the Trump Organization paid a visit to Taoyuan in September, expressing interest in the city's Aerotropolis, a large-scale urban development project aimed at capitalizing on Taoyuan's status as a transport hub for East Asia, Taiwan News reports.With the review process for the Aerotropolis still underway, Taoyuan's mayor referred to the subject of the meeting as mere investment speculation. Other reports indicate that Eric Trump, the president-elect's second son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, will be coming to Taoyuan later this year to discuss the potential business opportunity.
Just because Trump has said he would be handing his businesses over to his children doesn't mean Agent Kay and Agent Jay will pop in, wearing their black suits and subject Trump to the mind erasing magic of a neuralizer. He will still know his investments and business interests. And even if his children are controlling things, are we to think they won't discuss them with daddy?
The scariest part of these three conflicts is not that they occurred within the span of a few days, but that they have taken place before Trump has taken office or even been voted in by the Electoral College. If he is this callous in his actions now, can you imagine what he will be like once he is sitting behind the Resolute Desk inside the Oval Office?
I've been saying for weeks that once you drain the swamp, all you are left with is the scum. Now we know what that scum will look like, with the biggest chunk of it being the man we call President. So hold on, because the next four years is going to be nothing but putting Trump's business interests first and leaving the rest of us behind. Now we know Trump's definition of "great."