Trump’s proposed budget includes steep cuts for many programs designed to help low-income Americans, the homeless, and others who need shelter. It keeps one program, though, and of course that program benefits Trump personally.
It’s a housing subsidy that pays landlords directly, and Trump has a 4% stake in a Brooklyn building that’s part of the largest subsidized housing development in the country. According to his recent financial disclosures, this position earned him $5 million between January 1, 2016 and April 15, 2017.
It doesn’t matter whether Trump is still personally involved with this investment in any way or whether he personally saw to it the subsidy wouldn’t be cut, though I would imagine that both are true given his long track record. What matters is that this is the very definition of “the appearance of a conflict of interest”, and the reason it is so important that elected officials avoid it by divesting such holdings. Except Trump, who has divested nothing.
Starrett City, Brooklyn
I simply do not understand why this one crazy bully is immune from standards that everyone in this country has been held to for years, irrespective of political affiliation.
Some prescient fretting about Trump’s “divestment” strategy in this WaPo piece from just before inauguration.
Another potential boost for Trump’s revenue could come if HUD reverses a 2007 decision in which the agency blocked owners from selling the property as Brooklyn’s real estate market boomed.
Trump clashed at the time with Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other opponents of the sale, who accused owners of seeking to make money at the expense of poor tenants. “You can’t stop free enterprise,” Trump told the New York Daily News. “This is not Communist China.”