Turkish Airlines event at Trump Golf Course tees off emolumental problems


On September 18, 2017, The Trump National Golf Club in DC hosted the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup.

If you haven’t heard about it, you shouldn’t be surprised: the event wasn’t reported by the national media, as far as I can see, nor did the Trump Organization, Trump Golf or Trump National Golf Club promote or disclose it on social media. There’s no video of the event on the Turkish Airlines Golf channel on YouTube, unlike other venues, nor tweets by the airline, but the event is confirmed by the photo shared below.


The Trump National Golf Club did not share photos of the event on the 18th on its Facebook page, unlike a lobster night, junior golf club champions or a ladies international event, the next weekend. The hotel staff shared the view that morning, though:

…and shared (and tweeted) a post describing the club as “the perfect location to host a private event.”

What the Trump Organization hasn’t done yet, much less a president whose Potempkin promises regarding his taxes or charitable donations have been well-documented, is to show how it’s tracking payments from foreign governments.

Emolumental concerns grow

That foreign governments are booking expensive events at Trump properties isn’t a breaking story, as CBS and many other outlets have reported over the year. The president has chosen to inform the public about other issues this week than another one of his businesses taking money from an airline that another nation’s government holds a 49% stake in.

What’s happening around the USA and the globe is often buried beneath the avalanche of other news generated by this unprecedented presidency.That’s unfortunate: in 2017, “pay to play” has expanded to include Trump golf courses, and “stay to play” or “play to sway” at Trump hotels.

If any other First Family had conflicts like this and took money from private businesses while in office, we’d expect our State Department and Justice Department to warn American companies about heightened corruption risk from operation in that country.

The unreported event held at Trump National Golf Club is further confirmation that President Trump’s unethical decision not to disclose his taxes and divest from his businesses has resulted in nation states, political committees, trade groups and corporations that have public business in the United States of America are seeking to influence the public policy of the nation through the president’s private businesses.

President Trump’s political and policy decisions continue to be influenced in unknown ways by his conflict of interest in Turkey, Trump Tower Istanbul. As the Washington Post reported last December, that development is part of a global business empire spanning at least eighteen countries, all of which post conflicts between Trump’s private interests and the American public’s interest.

On Saturday at the Texas Tribune festival, ethics experts agreed that this White House “may be the most unethical administration Americans have ever seen.” You can watch their frank discussion in the video below:

That assessment of this White House’s record on ethics is accurate.

As long President Trump does not disclose his tax returns and divest from his conflicts of interest, both real and rumored corruption will shadow every foreign or domestic policy decision this administration makes.

We encouraged Congress to oversee ethics and open government in February. It’s not too late for our elected representatives in DC to do so as fall begins, if this White House continues to fail Government Ethics 101. Winter is coming.