NPR: New Online Store Is One More Way For Trump To Profit From Presidency
The Trump Organization recently started a website, TrumpStore.com, to sell Trump-branded merchandise such as T-shirts, baseball caps and coin banks.
It's not to be confused with Trump's other website, DonaldJTrump.com. That site sells a lot of the same kind of merchandise, but its profits flow to Trump's presidential campaign.
By contrast, the profits from TrumpStore.com go to the Trump Organization, which is managed by Trump's two older sons, Eric and Donald Jr., but still owned by the president himself.
But the new website is different, because the profits go to Trump himself, says Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group.
"It fits again into the larger problem of him basically promoting his businesses from the White House," Noble says. "We haven't had another situation where a president has had a website where his business is selling things that are branded with his name."
Is it legal? Noble says most federal employees are barred from profiting off their positions because of conflict-of-interest rules. But such rules don't apply to the president and vice president.
"In reality he still has the right to the profits, so he will profit from whatever he gets from that, as he profits from his golf courses, the hotel, all those enterprises," Noble says.