Joseph Wyatt: Throwing stones from glass hotels (Opinion)

I am willing to be adopted by Joe Biden, if that will lead to a board of directors’ position at $50,000 a month. Doubtless, candidate Biden’s political status was a key to Hunter Biden’s success. However, not content to let the relatively benign Biden incident stand, Donald Trump manufactured illegal features to the story and then pretended to be outraged by the account that he had produced out of thin air.

But if Mr. Trump is concerned about a family member who profited from his father’s status, why has he overlooked his own daughter, White House advisor Ivanka Trump? A month prior to her dad’s election, Ivanka received renewals for two Russian trademarks covering merchandise such as jewelry, coffee sets and candelabra as well as retail services.

A year later, Ivanka’s boundless business acumen scored again. This time, Mr. Trump’s daughter won approval for 16 new Chinese trademarks on items including handbags, shoes, wedding dresses and jewelry. Strangely, also in her trademark mix were un-Ivanka-brand listings, such as sausage casings, nursing homes and voting machines. All of this is according to researcher Caroline Zhang, who writes for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

In 2017, Ivanka dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping. On the same day, her business received three new Chinese trademarks. In May, 2018, the Chinese government favored her with even more trademarks and, a week after that, her pop announced that he wanted to lift the ban on Chinese telecom giant ZTE. Coincidence? Fair and balanced minds want to know.

In June 2018, Ivanka announced the closure of her “brand,” even though she continued to seek new trademarks which will be valid, and lucrative, until 2028. Thus, Donald Trump now engages in a trade war that harms U.S. businesses and consumers, while Ivanka scores win after win in China.

Still, Ivanka likely will never achieve the Olympian levels of self-dealing duplicity that characterize her father. On Aug. 15, CREW’s Jordan Libowitz reported on more than 2,300 presidential conflicts of interest, many related to Trump’s hotels. For example, the president has visited his properties 352 times at taxpayer expense, almost a third of the days he has been president. And wherever he goes, the president brings with him a phalanx of support personnel, all of whom need rooms and meals.

Besides the president’s own posse, 111 officials from 65 foreign governments have visited a Trump property. Another 250 White House officials have made 630 visits. Ninety members of Congress have made 188 stops at Trump properties, as well. The president constantly tweets and talks about (i.e., advertises) his properties — 159 times at last count.

Political groups have spent $5.9 million at Trump’s hotels and golf courses since Trump took office. By comparison, his businesses never received more than $100,000 in a single year from political groups, prior to his presidency. Foreign governments have hosted a dozen events at Trump’s locations and they frequently rent and pay for rooms that no one stays in, another way of gifting Trump.

Yet, despite having many a mote in his own eye, a needy Donald Trump dangled almost $400 million in military aid in the face of Ukraine’s president, military support for that nation’s defense against Russia. The only catch? Trump wanted Ukraine to come up with dirt on Joe Biden. Asking for such foreign political help is a crime. Just his way of making America great again, I suppose.

Joseph Wyatt is a Gazette-Mail

contributing columnist and an emeritus professor at Marshall University.

Funerals for Friday, November 15, 2019

Flint Jr., William - 1 p.m., Graceland Memorial Par, South Charleston.

Geiger Jr., Berley - Noon, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Charleston.

Hines, Kathy - 1 p.m., Weirwood Community Church, Weirwood.

Jeffers, Neal - 2 p.m., Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Jeffrey, Harold - 11 a.m., Evans Funeral Home, Chapmanville.

Kearns, Pamela - 1 p.m., Foglesong-Casto Funeral Home, Mason.

Loftis, Anthony - Noon, Richmond Cemetery, Spurlockville.

McFarland, William - 1 p.m., Preston Funeral Home, Charleston.

Neal, Betty - 1 p.m., Smathers Funeral Chapel, Rainelle.

Pennington, Jack - 1 p.m., Rock Branch Independent Church.

Richards, Jimmy - 11 a.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation Inc., Grantsville.

Terry Sr., Watson - 1 p.m., Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Carbondale.

Welch, Brenda - 11 a.m., Fidler & Frame Funeral Home, Belle.

Wise, Barry - 6 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.