‘Emoluments’ the unlikely star of Trump news conference

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Reuters

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump waits with his children before speaking during a news conference.

What’s an emolument?

That question is being raised by many after listening to the news conference of President-elect Donald Trump.

📈Yes, ’emolument’ is our #1 lookup right now. We wrote about the word back in November. https://t.co/Bclk13q17s

– Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) January 11, 2017

Emolument literally means a payment (or perk) from employment or office.

The Emolument Clause of the U.S. Constitution is designed to prevent bribery. The actual line in the Constitution: “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

How does that apply to Trump?

Well, there’s the Trump International Hotel, just a short walk from Trump’s new home at the White House. Foreign diplomats are already lining up to stay there, according to reporting from The Washington Post, as a way to get in the good graces of the president.

At the news conference, Trump’s lawyer stated that any profits from foreign diplomats staying at the hotel will be sent to the U.S. Treasury. His adult children also will be in charge of the entire Trump Organization, and an ethics officer will try to ensure they don’t discuss business with their presidential father.