Trump uses platform to promote his private ventures (again)

Under normal circumstances, a president promoting his own private-sector interests like this, in pursuit of personal profit, would create a genuine scandal
The entrance of Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida.
The entrance of Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida.Michele Eve Sandberg / AFP - Getty Images
Get the Msnbc newsletter.
SUBSCRIBE
By Steve Benen

On May 10, Donald Trump's golf course in Los Angeles announced that it was re-opening and inviting members to book tee times. The president used his Twitter platform to promote the announcement -- in effect, using his position to advertise in support of a private venture he continues to own and profit from.

On June 10, he did it again. Retweeting an item from one of his adult sons, promoting the Trump Doral venue near Miami's airport, the president boasted:

"...And the Trump family didn't ask the Federal government for money to carry this and many other very expensive to carry properties!"

At this point, we could note that Trump is effectively bragging about a specific instance of not putting taxpayer money into his pocket, as if clearing this very low bar were somehow impressive. We could also note the irony of the president touting his restraint even as the Trump Organization seeks a break from the Trump administration on one of its lease agreements.

But it's the bottom line that continues to amaze: Trump using his presidential platform to boost his own business ventures has become so common, tweets like these barely register as notable anymore. The president's casual corruption has become the background noise of contemporary politics, drowned out by other Trump controversies that seem more pressing.

And while I'm sympathetic to the circumstances -- there are certainly more pressing matters at hand -- it's worth pausing from time to time to note that under normal political conditions, a president promoting his own private-sector interests like this, in pursuit of personal profit while in the White House, would be seen as a genuine scandal.