Ed Shalom: Trump assets could threaten public safety

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

For the first time, The United States will have a president who owns very significant assets, both in terms of real and intellectual property, widely distributed in the U.S. and around the world.

Compounding this is the intention of the president-elect to maintain ownership and indirect control of these assets throughout his presidency, including the intimate involvement of his children.

Until recently, the implications of this impending situation have only been discussed from a “conflict of interest” perspective. This is understandable, based upon our first reactions.

But upon deeper thought, the implications of plans for a Trump presidency raise other questions, and perhaps threats, that are not just based upon financial interests, but which impact – in a very direct and threating way – our physical security.

Clearly in numerous locations around the world, such as luxury hotels and golf courses, or in consumer products such as clothing, ties, suits, and so on, the assets of our president will be directly accessible to the public at large.

From a financial standpoint, the conflict-of-interest perspective deals with another obvious point: If the public either patronizes or avoids the Trump “brand,” it is a back door to influencing national politics. (Hopefully, if the Democratic half of this country is smart, it will boycott and divest itself of all things Trump).

However, the true threat is not financial, but based upon safety and security for all U.S. residents. The fact that the assets of the president of the United States are spread over so many arenas that are accessible to the general public means that they are vulnerable to numerous threats to both property and persons that can be either domestic or foreign.

For example, hotels are exposed to various forms of terrorism, either domestic or foreign, such as physical means that include guns and explosives, and biological attacks that can include the use of poisonous chemicals such as anthrax. Products such as clothing, ties, suits, and so on are susceptible to contamination as well.

As such, for the safety of the public in our public areas, as well as for the safety of staff in the hotels and stores that carry the Trump brand, these threats must be acknowledged ASAP and should be significant drivers in our national plans.

These treacherous waters can be avoided with little downside to all parties. The primary driver must be to insure the safety of all those involved as staff and/or customers of Trump enterprises.

The one and only way to achieve this is for all assets of Donald Trump to be sold and put into a genuine blind trust. This arrangement is by the far the very best for the population at large, which should not have to deal with fear related to consuming Trump’s products.

Much has been made of arguments such as the U.S. bought into this sticky mess, it has been “baked into the cake,” and so on.

First of all, Donald Trump has talked about a blind trust, albeit in a very illogical way. Secondly, the fact that dangers in this “new world order” were not identified at first does not mean we should ignore them.

We are constantly told that Donald Trump’s family love America, so here’s a very simple way for the Trump family to show it. Since we are told they are all worth hundreds of millions of dollars, even after a “fire sale” of their assets, they will be financially secure for generations. How many blue-collar Trump supporters can say that?

Further, if there are any dangerous incidents involving Trump properties, such as hotels, those assets could plummet in value.

The intent of this white paper is to point out a threat that has not been discussed, and to make it clear that a genuine blind trust for Donald Trump’s assets is absolutely required for the safety and security of all.

If the Trumps really love America as they claim, they can help all of us have the physical security that they enjoy in Trump Tower. If they refuse, they should be held accountable for endangering the safety of people around the world for their financial gain.

Beyond action by the Trumps, all national stakeholders should ensure that the magnitude of this threat is assessed ASAP, and that remedial action is taken immediately, if necessary.

If the hypothesis in this paper is correct, risk exposure does not start on inauguration day – it has already begun.

Ed Shalom is a Valencia resident.

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