In 2008, then-Senator Obama received tens of thousands of dollars (that we know about) from Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Washington Post barely reported it, focusing on the RNC’s reaction more than the violation itself.
Now the AP is reporting that the Chinese government has preliminarily approved 38 trademarks requested by Donald Trump’s business interests–all requested before he took office.
Ethics lawyers across the political spectrum say that if Trump receives any special treatment in securing trademark rights, it would violate the U.S. Constitution, which bans public servants from accepting anything of value from foreign governments unless approved by Congress. Concerns about potential conflicts of interest are particularly sharp in China, where the courts and bureaucracy are designed to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party.
Seriously, what quid pro quo could President Trump have given the ruling Communist Party in China to get them to approve trademarks which are–in Chinese business practice–worthless? Maybe the Chinese government is attempting to curry favor with Trump by plying him with “special treatment” that if the president acknowledged, he’d be pilloried for involving himself in his business interests.
In any case, what could Trump do to stop China from approving trademark requests that were filed in mid-2016? Nothing. It’s most likely that the Chinese bureaucracy gathered all the Trump requests into a bundle and approved them because–well Trump is certainly the best known person on the planet, isn’t he?
Is it special treatment when a foreign government approves something they were going to approve anyway? Good luck proving this one, constitutional legal eagles.
But here’s an example of special treatment and quid pro quo that we can prove. Obama, on his last day in office, had his outgoing Secretary of State release $221 million to the Palestinian Authority unity government, which includes Hamas in Gaza, over the hold Congress put on the money.
In 2008, a Gaza-based call center raised money for Obama’s presidential bid. Their goal of statehood was never realized, but it’s not for lack of the guy they wanted to be president’s trying. The American press glossed over all of this and explained it away as youthful support of a candidate, exuberance, or simply “oops.”
Smell the double-standard, people. The AP assigned five reporters and a Shanghai-based researcher to this nearly 1000-word story. The Obama story about two Gazans who illegally contributed $33,000 to Obama in 2008 (listing “Ga.” as their state) merited 333 words and one reporter, with no followups.
And they keep saying that they’re not the opposition party.