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Robert Reich: Six Ways Trump Has Sold Out America – OpEd


One of Donald Trump’s main campaign promises was to put “America First” and defend American interests above all else. It was a theme that riled up his base at rallies across the country, but this has turned out to be yet another big lie.


At every turn, he has sold out America for his own personal interest. Instead of putting America first, here are 6 ways Donald Trump has put himself first:

1) He has encouraged foreign powers to interfere in our democracy. Trump is using the power of the presidency to encourage foreign leaders to interfere in our elections – asking the President of Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political opponents in exchange for military aid. He has also publicly called on Russia and China to investigate his political opponents.

2) He receives money from foreign governments through his hotels and real estate business. Since taking office, representatives of at least 22 foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Russia, have spent money at properties owned by the Trump Organization. These payments are clear violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which forbids the president from accepting anything of value from foreign governments. Trump had even planned to host next year’s G-7 meeting at his Doral golf resort, in Florida, but this brazen corruption was apparently too much even for his supporters in Congress.

3) He is making foreign policy on the basis of where his business is located around the world. The simplest explanation for why he cozies up to Turkey’s dictator Recep Erdogan, even withdrawing US troops from the Syrian border, is the Trump Towers Istanbul is his first and only office and residential building in Europe, and businesses linked to the Turkish government are also major patrons of the Trump Organization.

4) He has called on foreign powers to investigate Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who concluded that Trump’s campaign sought help from Russia during the 2016 election. The Trump administration has encouraged officials in Italy, Australia, and the United Kingdom to investigate details of Mueller’s investigation in an effort to discredit his report.


5) He is favoring authoritarian regimes around the world, turning his back on America’s allies. Beyond Turkey’s Erdogan, Trump has said he’s “in love” with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, and, of course, praised Vladimir Putin.

6) He has ignored American intelligence agencies, relying instead on foreign governments. He has repeatedly disputed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, favoring Vladimir Putin’s version of what happened over the findings of our own intelligence community.

Donald Trump claims to be a patriot at the same time as he sells out America. He has brazenly sought private gain from foreign governments at the expense of the American people. Instead of putting “America First,” he has repeatedly put “Donald First.”

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

One thought on “Robert Reich: Six Ways Trump Has Sold Out America – OpEd

  • October 30, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    -Little existential evidence exists to support your contentions. For example, you say he cozies up to Turkey’s dictator Recep Erdogan. Obviously not so. The Turks have purchased Russian S400 Air Defense Systems over United States’ Raytheon offering of a superior product; and are now poised to purchase between 36 and 48 Su35 fighter planes from Russia? Rather than cozying by President Trump I see anti-Trump spin in your reportage.
    You assert President Trump encourages foreign leaders to interfere in our elections. This information originated from the anti-Trump Democrat Party line. Foreign leaders need little encouragement to interfere in our elections; nor do we to interfere in theirs. Recent and blatant was Mr. Obama interference in Israel’s election or later, Afghanistan’s elections.
    It is true that Trump suggested the President of Ukraine investigate Joe Biden’s activities in the Ukraine while vice president under Mr. Obama. Mr. Biden’s son benefited handsomely in the Ukraine from his father’s coercive efforts: it is illegal for Government officials to use their positions for personal gain. To project on President Trump Mr. Biden’s Ukrainian coercion to assure his son’s success in the Ukraine is pure nonsense.
    You have severely truncated the list of dignitaries and international leaders availing of five star Trump named facilities. Particularly since these sites are located where the alternatives are typically less attractive or do not exist. Naming only Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Russia insults the large number of well-known individual and nations using Trump named sites.
    President Trump does not participate financially in what you designate as the “Trump organization”. He recently cancelled the G-7 meeting at his Doral golf resort, in Florida to eliminate a source of negativity created by individuals such as yourself in the interest of an on-going anti-Trump propaganda campaign.


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