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This one came in the email from July 2015

Sent to all the American Politics faculty at Columbia, including me:

RE: Donald Trump presidential candidacy

Hi,

Firstly, apologies for the group email but I wasn’t sure who would be best prized to answer this query as we’ve not had much luck so far.

I am a Dubai-based reporter for **.
Donald Trump recently announced his intension to run for the US presidency in 2016.
He currently has a lot of high profile commercial and business deals in Dubai and is actively in talks for more in the wider region.

We have been trying to determine:
If a candidate succeeds in winning a nomination and goes on to win the election and reside in the White House do they have to give up their business interests as these would be seen as a conflict of interest? Can a US president serve in office and still have massive commercial business interests abroad?

Basically, would Trump have to relinquish these relationships if he was successfully elected? Are there are existing rules specifically governing this? Is there any previous case studies to go on?

Lastly, what are his chances of winning a nomination or being elected? So far, from what we have read it seems highly unlikely?

Regards,

***
Executive Editor
***

At the time I just thought this was funny, first the idea that Trump might become president; second the idea, if he did, that there would be conflicts of interest relating to his foreign businesses.

Check out the comments where one person naively says that Trump would probably put his assets into a blind trust, and I naively reply that Trump won’t be elected president. A failure of imagination in so many ways.

And here we are.

3 Comments

  1. Erin Jonaitis says:

    Check out the comments where one person naively says that Trump would probably put his assets into a blind trust, and I naively reply that Trump won’t be elected president. A failure of imagination in so many ways.

    And that’s something I enjoy about you; you don’t pull any punches, even when the target is yourself ;)
    (My imagination failed, too. I viewed his campaign as an annoying sideshow until he won his first primary.)

    • Andrew says:

      Erin:

      I should be harsh on myself on this one: it was pretty irresponsible of me, as a purported expert on American politics, to express certainty on that one. On the plus side, it was just a blog comment. Had this been a newspaper or radio or TV interview, or even a blog post all its own, I’d like to think I would’ve been more careful!

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