Trump Transition Team Faces Spending Review at Warren’s Urging
The main U.S. government-accountability busines will examine the public and private spend that went into President Donald Trump‘s transition to the presidency, as well as the ethics steering his squad received.
The review was outlined in a April 5 letter addressed to Representative Elijah Cummings and Senator Elizabeth Warren, both Democrat, who had implored the Government Accountability Office to examine potential conflicts of interest between Trump’s transition team and his business concerns, as well as the team’s communications with foreign authorities. Warren’s office released GAO’s letter Tuesday.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump has retained possession in his businesses, residence them in a cartel managed by his adult sons. Ethicists have called that arrangement inadequate to separate the president from his personal financial interests.
Democrats, who are in the minority in Congress, don’t have much leveraging in trying government its further consideration of Trump and his businesses. Yet the GAO, which reports to Congress, previously agreed to a request from Warren, Cummings and other Democrat to refresh travel costs and security the terms and conditions for Trump at his Florida estate.
For the transition-team review, relevant agencies said it planned to look into” what ethics-related provisions apply to those involved in a transition ,” as well as how transition periods exploited public and private stores and” information and works related to conflicts of interest and business exposure” from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. The evaluation will also examine the transition team’s rehearsals for” communications with heads of foreign authorities ,” in agreement with the GAO’s letter.
The agency said it also plans to compare the 2017 transition to those in 2009 and 2001.
Warren and Cummings — in a November 2016 letter that induced the GAO’s response — requested that the agency” address several refers including conflicts of interest related to business grasps of Mr. Trump and their own families; potential violations of protocol and safety prudences related to Mr. Trump’s connections with foreign supervisors; and transparency associated with the use of taxpayer funds in transition periods .”
Warren and Cummings cited media reports that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, attended a meeting with Japanese supervisor Shinzo Abe and that Trump spoke to at the least one foreign supervisor on his personal cell phone during the transition.” There is no indication of knowing whether this entitle or Mr. Trump’s other phone calls with foreign supervisors were on lock phone lines ,” the character says.
Their letter also questioned whether taxpayers paid for Trump to travel on his personal airplane during the transition.” There is no transparency with regard to transition outlays, raising additional questions about how taxpayer funds may be flowing into Mr. Trump’s pockets ,” it says.