President Trump told the media today at a Cabinet meeting in the Oval Office, “You people with this phony emoluments clause,” referring to one or both of the two emolument clauses in the U.S. Constitution. I was watching that on TV when he said that, and I thought, “did he just say ‘phony emoluments clause’? Surely not.” I thought I must have misheard him. Not so! What a disrespectful statement about our Constitution. What was the context?
President Trump was talking to reporters about his decision earlier last week, and announcement about it, to host the G-7 meeting of world leaders next year at his Trump National Doral Miami golf resort where I used to play so many years in the Doral Open on the PGA Tour.
Trump had also announced that he would charge discounted prices so that Doral would not make a profit off the G-7 conference. But that did not soothe nerves even among many Republican members of Congress. Trump got so much pushback about it due to the emolument clauses in the Constitution. So, Saturday he rescinded that decision.I’ve been saying for years that Donald Trump does not really believe in our democracy. I suspect he’d like to change this nation so that he is the dictator of it. It’s a man who thinks he is a “stable genius” with “unmatched wisdom” who is likely to become a ruthless dictator.
The Constitution has a foreign emoluments clause in Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 8 which reads, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King.”
The Constitution also contains a domestic emoluments clause in Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 7 which reads, “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”