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drew45_Bill O'LearyThe Washington Post via Getty Images_trump dorian Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Trump’s New Troubles

The US Republican Party has lashed its fate to an increasingly unhinged leader. Whether that changes between now and the November 2020 presidential election may well depend on how his fragile ego withstands the coming months.

WASHINGTON, DC – As the US Congress reconvenes this week after a six-week recess, the administration is mired in controversies, almost all of them set off by President Donald Trump. Trump’s behavior has been at its most peculiar since he took office, undoubtedly partly owing to panic over the 2020 election. He has more reason than most incumbent presidents to wish for reelection, as he is still facing several lawsuits.

Perhaps the greatest political danger to Trump lies in the growing evidence that he has used the presidency to enrich himself. Unlike his predecessors, Trump declined to put his assets in a blind trust, and he is being sued for accepting constitutionally prohibited “emoluments” (payments to a president by foreign governments). For example, the Saudi regime and others have made extensive use of his hotels, including one near the White House. Similarly, at last month’s G7 summit, Trump let it be known that he wants to host next year’s meeting at his struggling Doral golf resort near Miami.

Voters may well have grown accustomed to Trump’s frequent patronage of his own hotels and golf facilities (along with the cost of the Secret Service and other attendants). According to one estimate, by mid-July, Trump had spent 194 days at his own golf courses, earning the Trump Organization $109 million. Various Republican Party functions have taken place on his properties. 

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