Rachel Maddow explains Donald Trump's conflicts of interest, using windmills

Rachel Maddow talks Trump conflicts of interest
(Image credit: Late Night)

President-elect Donald Trump's global businesses and lack of transparency about his taxes and financial entanglements are already setting up unprecedented conflicts of interest and opportunities for self-enrichment, Rachel Maddow told Seth Meyers on Wednesday's Late Night. "I think that, to a certain extent, we're going to have to get used to the fact that Donald Trump fans like that he's a businessman and they like that he's made himself very rich, so maybe they're expecting him to take decisions that are going to enrich himself further as president," she said. But this is a real problem, and to try to illustrate it she talked about Trump's obsessive hatred of windmills, which Meyers had lampooned earlier in the show.

"That's hilarious if you think of it as just his phobia," she began, "but now that he's going to be president, I mean, this seems weird, but Scotland could come to him, the U.K. could come to him and say, 'You know, listen Donald, we know you really care about the windmills and you think that's a very important thing for your business. We'll get rid of the windmills if you do this thing for our country' — which the United States doesn't want to do, it's not good for the country — 'but we want that from you as president, and we'll give you this private benefit instead.' That kind of transactional stuff is already a problem."

Similarly, Turkey just arrested an executive at the company that's building new Trump Towers in Istanbul, and now Ankara can come to Trump with a prisoner-for-policy exchange offer, Maddow said. "It puts him in a position of choosing himself over the interests of the United States of America, and whether or not you care that he's going to get rich off of all of our backs, the fact that he's gonna be in a position where people can leverage the country against his own interests is not good." Watch below. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.