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Monday, January 16, 2017

Is Trump a 'legitimate' president?

On this Martin Luther King Day, US Representative John Lewis dominates the headline with the charge that President-elect Donald Trump's election is illegitimate. What that means is that the process of electing Trump and the candidate's actions failed to conform to the laws and rules governing it.

Russian hackers and leakers purposefully attacked the Democratic Party candidate. The FBI and the US Intelligence Agency confirmed that as being true.

President-elect Trump has gone on the record many times to deny that Russians interfered. He challenged and criticized the US intelligence professionals while going out of his way to compliment Russian President Putin. That is circumstantial behavior that may smell like smoke. There is no fire until more facts are evident and proven.

Begin with Donald Trump's declarations that he has had no business dealings with the Russians. His IRS and business filings should support or negate his claims.  Is the question are the FBI and authorities investigating for the purpose of vetting his declaration of no conflicts of interest?

Such vetting should have been done by the sponsoring political party well in advance of Trump's having become a candidate. As the process continued, a viable candidate would have voluntarily opened his records for an investigation. Trump has consistently resisted that.

Therefore, Congressman Lewis' charge of illegitimacy might be correct based on the candidate's failure to come clean with evidence and assurance of no conflicts.

What else makes Trump illegitimate? He won the electoral college votes. While he lost the popular vote, he won by playing by the rules that he has declared is rigged.

Trump has proceeded to attempt to staff positions with his family members that is nepotism.

"The recruitment of current employees’ relatives tends to perpetuate the racial, religious and ethnic characteristics of the existing workforce.  Therefore, nepotistic recruiting may be discriminatory where the current workforce is predominantly or exclusively of one race, religion or ethnic group."

Such actions are after-the-fact and surely don't strengthen the president-elect's compliance with best practices and the law.

Donald Trump's relationship with his businesses is still under evaluation with much concern expressed by ethics officials.

The situation is that Trump may be illegitimate by not being complete in distancing himself from apparent conflicts.

The answer is that until or unless Trump is complete in providing evidence of the lack of conflicts, he might be classified as being illegitimate.

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