Is China Bribing Trump? Well, We're Not Saying It's Not!
Remember the old days when Saudi princes would donate money to the Clinton charity to buy bednets for starving kids in Africa and Congress would stroke out yelling LOCK HER UP!?!?!? GOOD TIMES!
Loser Dummocraps can't even do corruption right. SAD.
Luckily, Donald Trump himself taught the upper level Corruption Studies masterclass at Trump University, Course WD40 You Grease, You Slide. (Or if not Trump himself, only the BEST people.) So, he is well prepared to monetize every aspect of public office.
- Charging the Secret Service to use Trump Tower Offices while protecting Melania in New York: On it.
- Doubling the Initiation Fees at Mar-a-Lago: Done.
- Renting Hotel and Office Space to Foreign Governments: Check, check, check.
But how to separate the NBD, everyday whoring out of the nation's highest office from the superduper illegal stuff? As always, Yr Wonkette is here to save the day with this handydandy Emolumentsplainer.
What even is an Emolument?
You may think that emoluments are that orange lotion Melania rubs all over the president's bloated, decaying body to give him that healthy, youthful glow. CLOSE! In fact, emoluments are wads of cash that other countries rub all over his bloated, decaying body to make it worth his while to show up for work. No one spends four years ruining the country for free, amirite?
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution states that “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” In plain English (and without so many commas), DON'T TAKE THINGS OF VALUE FROM FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.
The day after Trump was sworn in, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed suit in federal court alleging that payment for hotel rooms by foreign governments in itself violates the Emoluments Clause.
Federal courts have never ruled on this issue. Nevertheless, Donald Trump offered his usual well-reasoned response.
"Totally without merit." Spoken like a guy who
graduated first in his MBA class was an undistinguished transfer student at Wharton undergrad. He also told the New York Times editorial board that, "The President can't have a conflict of interest. That's been reported very widely."
His lawyers actually studied hard in school, though, and they anticipated enough pushback that they promised on January 11 that Trump would "voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotel to the United States Treasury. This way, it is the American people who will profit."
Which sounds serious, except that:
- We haven't heard a damn thing about it since then, so PICS OR GTFO;
- The guy won't even release his tax returns, and we're supposed to believe he'll give us a P&L statement on his properties? Gurl, please!; and
- He's theoretically handed corporate control over to Uday and Qusay, so he couldn't actually order the companies to turn money over to the Treasury if he intended to. WHICH HE DID NOT.
So, Who Else is Giving Donald Trump a Lube Job (besides you, me, and everyone who pays taxes)?
Well! This past week the Chinese gave him a huge squirt in the form of a trademark victory in court. There's a backstory here, but luckily Wonkers can read gooder than the Channel Surfer in Chief.
In December 2006, Donald Trump filed to trademark his name in China, only to find that someone named Dong Wei had beaten him to it by two weeks. He then spent the next five years suing and losing in Chinese Courts in an attempt to get control of his brand. This made Citizen Trump GRRRRRRR!!! SO MAD!!!! that he sent this awesomely crazy letter in February 2011 to then-Commerce Secretary Gary Locke asking him to twist China's arm.
Despite more than a year of waiting, the Court determined that the illegal use of my internationally recognized name does not breach the truth principle applied by the Court. The decision also determined that neither I nor my company name is well known in China or Macao, despite having had books that became best sellers and The Apprentice television show, which was big in China... The fact that the Court could produce such a ludicrous result is a clear indication that their entire system is faithless, corrupt and tainted. Who could expect anything different from a deceitful culture where they send underage children to the Olympics to compete and, when caught, claim they were completely unaware? Their behavior should be a clear warning to the rest of the world to refrain from any trade practice or business relationship with them! Instead, our President throws out the red carpet (which they couldn't even get straight) for the Chinese President and delegation...a total disgrace as the day before President Hu announced that he intended on toppling the US greenback.
HE WAS ON THE COVER OF TIME MAGAZINE A MILLIONTY TIMES!!!
I'm sure Secretary Locke was deeply moved.
Then the weirdest thing of all happened! That shitgibbon actually got elected President of the United States in November of 2016!
The reality teevee star was finally in a position to show the mean old Chinese government who they were messing with! As they say, hell hath no fury like a trademark applicant scorned.
On December 2, 2016, new Prezzie Trump broke with longstanding protocol and took a call from the leader of Taiwan. Our government has spent 35 years balancing our relationship with communist China and capitalist Taiwan by maintaining the creative fiction that we believe in One China, which includes the "renegade province" of Taiwan. This potential foreign policy rupture could have been a rookie mistake. Dipshits gonna dipshit, right?
The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016
How was he to know not to pick up the phone? China's Foreign Minister tactfully rebuked Taiwan for "tricking" the Leader of the Free World.
But there was no blaming his ignorance on December 11, 2016, when Trump said the US should only continue the One China Policy if we got something in return. "I don't know why we have to be bound by a One China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade." Or on January 13, when he told the WSJ, "Everything is under negotiation, even the One China policy."
But then, Hosanna! it seems President Quid Pro Quo had a Road to Damascus conversion.
Here's the ENTIRELY COINCIDENTAL series of events:
- In September 2016, just before the US election, the Chinese courts announced that they were invalidating the competing trademark in Trump's suit.
- On November 13, five days after Trump's win, the Chinese government granted him a provisional trademark on his name, meaning that the new trademark had not yet been issued. Chinese law prohibits trademarking the names of foreign leaders because it is bad for society, which might have been grounds for later refusal to grant the license.
- On February 9, 2017, Trump announced that he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinpeng and had agreed to abide by the One China policy.
- By February 16, Trump had secured his new patent.
In summary, Trump's business got something of value from a foreign power, and in exchange China got the American foreign policy it wanted. WIN, WIN!
But don't blow your wad freaking out about this one case. The AP reports, "In China alone he has 49 pending trademark applications and 77 marks already registered in his own name, most of which will come up for renewal during his term." The fun is just beginning!
GIVE US MONEEZ TO PAY FOR MOAR WORDZ PLZ!!!
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.