In Indonesia, a local government plans to build a road to shorten the drive between the main airport on the island of Bali and the new high-end Trump resort and golf course.
In Panama, the country’s federal government intervened to ensure a sewer system around a 70-story Trump skyscraper shaped like a sail in Panama City would be completed.
And in other countries, governments have donated public land, approved permits and eased environmental regulations for Trump-branded developments, creating a slew of potential conflicts as foreign leaders make investments that can be seen as gifts or attempts to gain access to the American president through his sprawling business empire.
The White House dismisses these concerns, as does the Trump Organization’s attorney. But when foreign governments that provide gifts to the Trump Organization, even those that benefit other businesses, it puts President Donald Trump in possible violation of the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause that states officials may not accept gifts from foreign governments and that no benefit should be derived by holding office.
That’s the old way of thinking. The new way is to grab everything you can.
* Sean Sullivan reports on the latest Republican to pack it in:
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) will retire from the Senate at the end of this term, he announced Tuesday, a decision that will bring a decades-long congressional career to an end early next year.
“After much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I’ve decided to retire at the end of this term,” Hatch, 83, said in a video posted on Twitter. Hatch is the president pro tempore of the Senate, as well as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Hatch’s retirement means an open seat race in his Republican-leaning state in this year’s midterm election. Some Republicans expect Mitt Romney to run for Hatch’s seat, although the former presidential nominee has not made any definitive public statements about his plans.
At least he’ll go out having utterly debased himself with some spectacular bootlicking of Donald Trump, so that can be part of his legacy.
* Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin report on how Scott Pruitt has quickly transformed the EPA into an agency that promotes pollution and unfettered corporate prerogatives.
* Democratic strategist Shripal Shah brings his personal experience of the 2010 Democratic bloodbath to bear in arguing that Republicans are going to suffer the same fate in 2018.
* Trump is blaming Democrats for the fact that the “dreamers” are still in limbo. Tal Kopan does a good job of explaining what’s going on with DACA and setting the record straight.