Don’t care was made to care

Oh, so that’s why Ivanka Trump was in the room when Trump met with Shinzo Abe, while state department officials and reporters were excluded.

When Donald J. Trump hosted a foreign leader for the first time as president-elect, the guest list included a curious entry: Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who looked on last month while he and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan chatted on a white couch high above Manhattan.

Some 6,700 miles from Trump Tower, in Tokyo, another exclusive gathering was already underway: a two-day private viewing of Ivanka Trump products, teeming with Trump-branded treasures like a sample of the pale pink dress Ms. Trump wore to introduce her father at the Republican National Convention.

Ms. Trump is nearing a licensing deal with the Japanese apparel giant Sanei International, both parties told The New York Times. The largest shareholder of Sanei’s parent company is the Development Bank of Japan, which is wholly owned by the Japanese government.

Sleazy as fuck.

His current plan is still to hand the management of his business over to his three oldest children, as if that would do away with the many gross conflicts of interest. (Hint: he’s related to them. They’re related to him.)

Yet an examination of the professional histories of the three children — who also serve on the presidential transition team — shows how deeply the Trump family, Trump business and Trump politics are interwoven, raising significant doubts about how meaningful a wall can ever be erected between Mr. Trump and his heirs at the Trump Organization.

Translation: making it obvious that Trump will do nothing about the many gross conflicts of interest unless he’s forced to.

Already, complications abound.

The children each hold a stake in the lease that allows the organization to operate the Trump International Hotel out of the federal government’s Old Post Office Building in Washington. Mr. Trump, as president, will appoint the head of the General Services Administration, which manages the property, while his children oversee a hotel with millions of dollars in ties to the agency.

Trump says it’s all ok though, because he doesn’t care.

At times, the president-elect has grown incredulous when pressed on the specter of conflicts.

In an interview last month with The Times, he wondered aloud what harm might come from, say, taking a picture with business partners for a project his children were leading. He suggested some critics would prefer that he “never, ever see my daughter Ivanka again.”

He allowed, though, that his election had changed at least one thing.

“The brand is certainly a hotter brand than it was before,” he said. “I can’t help that, but I don’t care.”

Oh well then. What a relief.

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