All throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, the Clinton Foundation was cited by Donald Trump and his immovable followers as one example of the vast conflicts of interest that would shadow a potential Hillary Clinton presidency. But according to a report from Axios, Ivanka Trump is putting together a foundation that could mirror one of those conflicts.
Trump’s new investment fund plans to focus on women entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized companies around the world. But the fact that Canada, Germany, and a few Middle Eastern companies have made “quiet commitments” raises the same “pay to play” criticisms that dogged the Clinton campaign last year.
From Matthew Rozka at Salon:
This should be big news to the Trump camp, which had pounced on the controversy surrounding the Clinton Foundation. It engaged in charitable endeavors but accepted funds from foreign governments. Critics raised concerns that the Clinton Foundation accepted donations in order to gain access to Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state or in the hypothetical event of her reaching the presidency.
So the hypothetical becomes reality. Ivanka Trump is setting up a charity that accepts payments from foreign governments, which is exactly what Trump and his followers slammed the Clinton foundation for doing during the 2016 campaign. The only difference is that Ivanka’s charity will be run from inside the White House.
As Axios’s report points out, we still don’t know if Ivanka’s new fund will seek a financial return on its investments, or if Trump and other White House employees will be “soliciting contributions from foreign governments and/or private institutions (banks, foundations, etc.)…”
It’s almost as if Trump wasn’t running against Hillary, but was actually using her alleged conflicts of interest as a blueprint for how the Trump administration would operate.
A friend of mine had the perfect summary:
“It’s like they are f*cking testing what they can do… The finale: Trump shooting pedestrians on 5th Avenue in New York City.”
Featured image via screen grab