Donald Trump presidency 'most unethical in modern history', report finds

'It has long since become clear that our initial concerns — and those of so many Americans — were well founded. Indeed, in retrospect they were understated'

Donald Trump is yet to make a final decision but appears more likely to send only half of the planned first instalment to the UN Relief and Works Agency
Donald Trump is yet to make a final decision but appears more likely to send only half of the planned first instalment to the UN Relief and Works Agency

Donald Trump has led the “most unethical presidency” in US history, according to a scathing report by a government ethics watchdog.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) accused the US President of conflating matters of public interest with decisions that “benefit his bottom line”.

Authors said a “failure to address this crisis” could cause “lasting harm to the country”, one year on from Mr Trump’s inauguration.

“It has long since become clear that our initial concerns — and those of so many Americans — were well founded. Indeed, in retrospect they were understated,” the document states.

“The Trump administration is confronted by an extraordinary scale and scope of legal and ethics scandals. It is unrivalled in the modern era, and perhaps in the history of the nation, for a first-year administration.

“The conduct of this administration, from the president on down, threatens our centuries-old tradition of a government that functions to serve the interests of the American people, rather than to serve the interests of those in power.”

The 36-page report also stated a president “sets the tone” for an administration, and the numerous scandals that have followed Mr Trump since his election campaign have “spread like a cancer” throughout his executive branch.

“The result is a vast array of ethics problems and improper influence among White House staff, cabinet officials, and senior agency officials,” the report said.

CREW has lodged 180 legal challenges against the former real estate mogul and his administration, often citing the “emoluments clause” in the US Constitution that forbids a president from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments.

“For virtually every decision President Trump makes, from taxes to environmental regulations to foreign policy, the American people cannot be sure whether he made his decision in the public interest or to benefit his bottom line,” the report noted.

The watchdog is now calling on Congress to safeguard special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“After a full year of this administration, it is now abundantly clear that the executive branch under President Trump is characterised by contempt for ethics and conflicts of interest rules and for the rule of law,” the report said. “It is time for the American people to conclude that one year is enough and to demand an end to the culture of corruption that is gripping Washington.”

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