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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 31, Issue 1, Spring 2017

Michael Davis
Pages 9-20

Trumping Conflicts of Interest

As President, Donald Trumps faces two sorts of conflict of interest. The first are conflicts of interest other Presidents also faced, though Trump’s are “writ large.” These seem—as a practical matter—unavoidable now, hard to escape, not to be much changed by disclosure, and not even much subject to management. The other sort of conflict of interest seems to be without resolution even in principle while Trump remains both President and the person he is. These conflicts of interest are the product of the same life that made him President. He cannot be both chief executive of a republic (as his oath of office requires him to be) and the royal autocratic central to his business brand.

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