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Trump's family can't seem to stop blurring ethical lines

Trump's adult sons are running his business, making new investments, serving as presidential surrogates, and playing partisan politics -- all at the same time.
Image: YEAR IN FOCUS - NEWS (1 of a set of 85) Republican National Convention: Day Two
Donald Trump Jr. (L), along with Ivanka Trump (C) and Eric Trump (R), in Cleveland, OH July 19.

ABC News aired a segment this morning featuring Donald Trump's adult sons, Eric and Don Jr., talking about expanding the Trump Organization's hotel business with a series of "mid-market properties it's calling the American Idea."

But while the two Trump brothers were there, they apparently thought it'd be wise to mix business and politics. The president's sons tried to dismiss the seriousness of the Russia scandal, for example, and as Politico noted, Don Jr. decided to go after the mayor of London, too.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's time would be better spent addressing the terrorism in his own city instead of attacking U.S. President Donald Trump, the president's son said in an interview that aired Tuesday morning."Rather than the mayor of London attacking maybe he should do something about it," Donald Trump Jr. said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "Maybe he should do something to fix the problem rather than just sit there and pretend there isn't one. I think that's an important message."

Look, I realize how easy it is to grow inured to bizarre political circumstances, but this should be difficult for anyone to defend.

The U.K. is one of our closest allies. London just suffered a deadly attack. The fact that the American president and his surrogates are going after the city's mayor -- who, by all appearances, has done nothing at all wrong, and hasn't "pretended" that terrorism isn't a problem -- is plainly ridiculous.

But even putting aside the awful arguments Trump's sons were making during the interview, it's important to ask why they're playing the role of presidential surrogates in the first place.

This came up last week, when the Trump brothers also attended a meeting at the Republican National Committee's offices, offering Eric and Don Jr. a chance to discuss their ideas about how the party can best help their father.

As we discussed, the family connections matter, but consider stories like these at face value: the heads of the president's private-sector enterprise are intervening in politics, despite their assurances that this wouldn't happen.

All of this is unfolding two months after Eric Trump conceded he intends to go over quarterly reports from the Trump Organization with the president, exploring "profitability reports and stuff like that."

And now it's just a little worse, with the Trumps blurring the ethical lines further out of existence.