The Slatest

Report: Donald Trump Wants His Adult Children to Have Top-Secret Clearance

Donald Trump Jr. (L), along with Ivanka Trump (C) and Eric Trump (R), take part in the roll call in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

So much for that promised firewall between the for-profit Trump Organization and the coming Trump administration. Via CBS News:

President-elect Donald Trump is potentially seeking top secret security clearances for his children, sources tell CBS News.

The Trump team has asked the White House to explore the possibility of getting his children the top secret security clearances. Logistically, the children would need to be designated by the current White House as national security advisers to their father to receive top secret clearances. However, once Mr. Trump becomes president, he would be able to put in the request himself.

The necessary caveats: The CBS News report is based on unnamed “sources,” and the report says only that Trump is “potentially” seeking the clearances. Still, such a move would line up well with what we already know about Trump and his adult children, which is that they have represented the only constants in his inner circle during his brief career into politics.

Trump named Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, as well as his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to his presidential transition team last week. That move further raised concerns about how Trump’s global business empire will become a sprawling mess of conflicts of interest and ethical morasses for himself and, by extension, the United States once he’s sworn in.

Trump maintained during the campaign that, if elected, he would place his financial assets in a “blind trust” that would be run by his children. As I’ve explained before, however, that’s not how a blind trust actually works. In a real blind trust, an independent trustee—that is, not someone’s own children—takes over a public official’s portfolio, thereby allowing the official to operate without knowledge of where or how his money is invested in order to avoid it influencing his decisions. Trump’s already empty promise, then, will only become even emptier if he secures top-secret clearance for the same people who will be running his business empire once he takes office.