Final Word from Tuesday, January 17, 2017



Critics of Donald Trump say that his plan for dealing with his conflicts of interest is absolutely insufficient. Only by selling or turning management of the Trump Organization over to an outside board could he sever his ties in a convincing way, they say. Critics of Andrej Babiš have a similar argument. By transferring Agrofert to a trust fund managed by a lawyer or hired gun, he might avoid losing the right for his companies to receive subsidies, incentives and government contracts, but the underlying potential for a conflict of interest remains. He will still be the finance minister and the beneficial owner of Agrofert. Trump's position is much better. By law, the U.S. president is exempt from prosecution under certain conflict-of-interest statutes. It's a murky legal area, but it doesn't stop Trump from saying that he has a "no-conflict situation." Babiš has no exemption, and even after founding a trust fund, he will remain in a "many-conflict situation." [Czech Republic United States of America hotels]

Glossary of difficult words

to sever - to put an end to (a connection or relationship); to break off;

hired gun - an expert brought in to resolve complex legal or financial problems or to lobby for a cause;

underlying - the cause or basis of (something);

exempt - free from an obligation or liability imposed on others;

murky - unclear.

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