Trump making US a ‘laughingstock’ on ethical standards: Outgoing ethics chief

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NEW YORK, July 18 (APP): The outgoing head of the Office of Government Ethics warned Monday that President Donald Trump has created an ethics crisis and turned the United States of America into a laughingstock.
In an interview with The New York Times, Walter Shaub lamented that
Trump has had a damaging attitude toward ethics, undermining the US position abroad.
“It’s hard for the United States to pursue international
anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility,” he told the newspaper. “I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.”
Shaub, who will leave office nearly six months before the end of his
term, said the president’s frequent trips to his own business properties have raised ethics concerns.
“Misuse of position is really the heart of the ethics program, and the
internationally accepted definition of corruption is abuse of entrusted power,” he added.
“It undermines the government ethics program by casting doubt on the
integrity of government decision making.”
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters dismissed Shaub’s criticism, saying he had a “penchant for raising concerns on matters well outside his scope with the media before ever raising them with the White House.”
“The truth is, Mr. Shaub is not interested in advising the executive
branch on ethics,” she added in a statement.
Shaub announced earlier this month that he would resign after
challenging the White House on ethics issues for six months, saying he felt he could not accomplish much in the Trump administration.
Shaub, who started his tenure during the George W. Bush administration, will officially step down from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) on July 19, according to a letter to Trump that Shaub posted on Twitter.
Before Trump was inaugurated, his lawyer unveiled how Trump would
structure his businesses after taking office. Rather than completely divesting, Trump would maintain limited connections to his business empire.
Shaub denounced the arrangement, calling it “wholly inadequate” in
resolving any potential conflicts of interest.