The Emolument Clause be damned! Trump is, somehow, the president and if the president wants to do it, it's legal. If that sounds frightfully similar to the words of President Nixon, you're right, but this is Nixon without the cover-up.
The problem with a US president working as a producer of an NBC TV program creates some nasty conflicts. If he's working for NBC, won't NBC be giving him far more positive coverage than they would if he wasn't part of their lineup? Believe it or not, the positive press they provided in the election will seem like censure compared to the way they will rubber stamp every whim he has. Plus, think of all the advertisers who wish to curry favor with Trump, knowing how easily he can be bought. The term banana republic is seeming too innocuous.
And of course, nobody carries more water for Trump's banana republic than his chief apologist, Kellyanne Conway, hired on the merits of her intense hatred for Hillary Clinton. She spoke with Alisyn Camerota, on CNN's "New Day":
CAMEROTA: Why is Mr. Trump going to stay on as Executive Producer of "The Apprentice"?
CONWAY: Well, He's a very transparent guy. Everyone can see what he's doing and the fact is that he is with all types of experts who tell him what he can do and not do as President of the United States. If this is one of the approved activities, then he will consider staying on.
CAMEROTA: He is a multi-tasker. That is true. We all know that. But will he be collecting a salary?
CONWAY: Doubtful. I think he's actually already said he will not keep the salary for President of the United States. About $400,000.
CAMEROTA: I mean for "Celebrity Apprentice." Will he make a profit with royalties or a salary?
CONWAY: I haven't discussed that with him directly. However, there are many options. He could do what he's going to do with his White House salary which is donate it to charity or refuse, decline to take it. Again, all of that will be decided. I don't think it's as relevant an issue than the amazing cabinet he's putting together. Majority of Americans, over 60% say they approve of his actions with Carrier last week making good on the centerpiece of his campaign to keep jobs right here in the US of A instead having them shipped off to Mexico. You saw real support for him in that regard, Alisyn. Over 50% of independents and it was 50% or 60% of independents and over 80% of Republicans. That's what he is focused on these days.
Of course, that approval for the Carrier 'deal' was taken before the facts were made public that he lied his 'ass off.' However, it seems his supporters aren't that concerned with truth and facts, but 60% is wild speculation, that should have been corrected. It's also too bad Alisyn didn't mention the obvious mistake in Conway's logic: golf is a recreation and being a television producer is a job. Presidenting is not something one can simply dabble in, it is 24/7.
Later in the program, Chris Cuomo did mention that President Obama has taken THE FEWEST VACATION DAYS of any recent president, but that's not important right now. If that sounds like "Airplane," it may be that this seems like a parody of a presidency, except this reality is not a joke.
And the reason Trump is able to be Nixon without the cover up? Because in the Nixon years Republicans in Congress eventually had to admit that the President was committing crimes, and tell him to resign. It was Barry Goldwater who went to the White House to break the news to Tricky Dick. Can you think of any Republican who would be able to influence Donald Trump and his thin skinned ego into resigning due to something unconstitutional or illegal going on in the Trump White House? Can you imagine a Republican congressman today having the "country over party" ethos to do it?
Neither can I.