Once Again, the Kuwaiti Government Puts Money Right into Trump’s Pocket

Who cares what the Constitution says?

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It’s not news. But it still worth headlines: President Donald Trump collects money directly from foreign governments. He does this when overseas governments (and foreign corporations and persons) spend money at his hotels. These properties are owned by him through the the Trump Organization. (When he became president, he turned the business over to his kids, but retained ownership.) So if the Saudi Crown Prince hits New York City with his oversized entourage and obtains a block of room’s at a high-end Trump hotel, the money goes straight into the coffers of Trump’s family business. And this is exactly what happened last year. (That particular transaction was substantial enough to be responsible for a 13 percent uptick in the hotel’s business.)

Trump’s fancy hotel in Washington, DC, has been the recipient of revenue from governments, people, and parties with interests before the US government and motive to curry favor with Trump. One such entity: the government of Kuwait. As the below invitation shows, the Gulf State is holding its independence anniversary shindig at the Trump International Hotel next month. This will mark the third year in a row that the Kuwaitis have decided to grace Trump’s hotel with their presence and petro-dollars.

These transactions are arguably violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibit a president from accepting any sort of gift from an overseas source—an anti-bribery measure that the Founding Fathers obviously believed necessary. A lawsuit claiming Trump has violated this part of the Constitution has been working its way through the courts, and oral arguments for the case are scheduled for March. The suit, which was filed by the attorneys general for Maryland and Washington, DC, cites the annual Kuwaiti bash as one of several violations of the emoluments clause.

It seems like Trump and the Kuwaitis don’t mind providing more potential evidence.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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