President Trump is in a peculiar position: He runs the country, advised by his daughter and son-in-law — while also profiting from his own worldwide Trump Organization, run by his sons.
This arrangement has spurred a number of ethics and conflicts-of-interest concerns, numerous lawsuits and a consistent stream of headlines. Though President Trump has stepped down from managing his 500+ businesses and put them in a trust, he continues to own them. The top government ethics official has decried Trump’s arrangement as insufficient.
Meanwhile, the specifics of Trump’s financial ties — including his debts and actual sources of wealth — remain unclear. As the president often uses his own for-profit properties to host foreign dignitaries, and his Trump Organization continues to operate overseas and do business with foreigners, an archaic word emoluments has entered the daily lexicon of ethics watchdogs. It refers to an obscure but newly relevant constitutional clause.
Check out our video for a brief walk-through of what all this means, how it happened and why it matters.