Back in June, then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a very quiet move to sell off of all of his corporate stock. At the time, very few media outlets reported on it in depth.
Probably because nobody realized that what Trump was doing was providing his campaign the fuel it needed to win while taking away one of the liberals’ biggest weapons.
A Tuesday report in The Washington Post detailed how Trump’s stock sale enabled him to make loans and donations to his campaign while simultaneously addressing conflict of interest concerns.
“The sell-off could help address conflict-of-interest worries about his stock portfolio, a sizable part of Trump’s financial life that was worth roughly as much as $40 million as of December 2015, a May disclosure filing shows,” The Post reported.
“Trump’s stock portfolio, the May filing shows, included shares in a number of banks, oil giants and other companies with business pending before the U.S. government and whose value could rise due to Trump’s decisions in office,” it explained. “Those stock holdings, ethics advisers said, offered a potentially troublesome facet of Trump’s private finances that could entangle his public decision-making.”
Trump first donated $2 million to his campaign on June 22, followed by $2 million each in July and August. Then, in October, he gave his campaign $10 million — all fueled, The Post speculated, by his stock selloffs.
“I was never a big stockholder, but I bought a lot of different stocks and I had a lot of stock before then too, and what I did is I sold them. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to be owning stocks when I’m making deals for this country that maybe will affect one company positively and one company negatively,” Trump said this week, according to ABC News.
According to his May financial disclosure, Trump had held stock in Energy Transfer and Phillips 66, both of whom were involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline project. He also held stock in Boeing and Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies.
Other stocks owned by Trump, according to CNN, included Apple, Microsoft, Pepsi and GE.
Trump was uncharacteristically quiet about it, speaking rarely about his divestment; in August, he said that, “I did invest and I got out and it was actually very good timing.”
Liberals, needless to say, are still trying to use conflict of interest against him.
“There is not much that Trump does that is significant that he does not brag about or make very public, so I would think given all of the concerns about his conflicts of interest and his taxes and his finances, that if he did take that step, that he would have been very public about it,” said John Hudak, a political scientist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Of course, the opposite logic also holds true — if Trump was so determined to hold onto his stock, why wouldn’t he brag about that and make it very vocal? It’s not illegal, he would just have to file forms every time he made a stock transfer as president. It would be an unconventional arrangement, but Trump is already setting himself up to be an unconventional president.
Plus, where was this talk when the Clinton Foundation was accepting massive amounts of money from foreign governments? Conservative media had to practically bang the mainstream media over the head to start covering that, and even then they didn’t see any problem in Clinton’s dubious foundation taking massive donation from Shariah law nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, among others.
Either way, it was a brilliant move by Trump. He managed to fund his campaign and apparently remove a major conflict of interest from being used against him.
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