Outgoing Office of Government Ethics (OGE) head Walter M. Shaub Jr. said Trump has undermined America’s ethical standing, NY Times reports. Shaub will resign tomorrow.
“It’s hard for the United States to pursue international anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility,” Mr. Shaub said. “I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.”
Trump spent the weekend at a golf club he owns that was paid to host the U.S. Women’s Open tournament.
Mr. Shaub called for almost a dozen legal changes to empower federal ethics.
A White House official rejected Shaub’s criticisms, while misspelling his name in a statement.
“Mr. Schaub’s penchant for raising concerns on matters well outside his scope with the media before ever raising them with the White House — which happens to be his actual day job — is rather telling,” Lindsay E. Walters, a White House spokeswoman, said. “The truth is, Mr. Schaub is not interested in advising the executive branch on ethics. He’s interested in grandstanding and lobbying for more expansive powers in the office he holds.”
Trump repeatedly visiting properties his family owns deeply upsets Mr. Shaub:
“It creates the appearance of profiting from the presidency. Misuse of position is really the heart of the ethics program, and the internationally accepted definition of corruption is abuse of entrusted power. It undermines the government ethics program by casting doubt on the integrity of government decision making.”
Shaub recommends giving OGE powers to subpoena to curb abusive executive power.
(image via CNN screengrab)