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CNN Hit Back at Trump's 'Phony Emoluments Clause' Claim With a Real Time Fact Check for the Ages

After reversing course on holding the 2020 G-7 summit at his Trump National Doral resort over the weekend, Trump spent time Monday defending the plan and railing against its critics, including gesturing to the gathered media, saying:

"You people with this phony Emoluments Clause'

Which CNN quickly fact-checked with a graphic consisting of the language of the relevant clause in the U.S. Constitution.


You can watch below:

Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution is actually the Title of Nobility Clause. However it is more commonly referred to as the Emoluments Clause.

It states:

"No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

It is the last portion of the clause that both captures and eludes the presidency of Donald Trump.

Captures as in foreign leaders like Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky often tell Trump they are spending money at his properties while discussing matters of foreign policy. Foreign governments and banks rented large sections of Trump properties yet failed to use them, raising eyebrows and suspicions.

Eludes as in President Trump appears unfamiliar with the rules of office set forth in the US Constitution. Or that they apply to him and the businesses he still profits from directly despite previous Presidents placing their private enterprises in blind trusts or selling them outright.

The Title of Nobility Clause, which covers emoluments, was intended to avoid foreign influence on members of the United States government—be they elected, appointed or hired—specifically by foreign governments.

As part of his complaints about walking back another opportunity for the Trump Organization to profit from the presidency, the President made false claims against President Barack Obama. Again.

However the claims Trump made occurred after Obama left office and failed to involve foreign governments, unlike the multiple emoluments accusations against Trump himself.

The Trump impeachment inquiry is ongoing. What part constitutional violations such as emoluments will play in the final report remains to be seen.

The book How to Read the US Constitution—and Why is available here.