Government Agency Sings Trump’s Praises in Tweetstorm

President-elect says he will hand over business operations to his children

With his presidential election victory Tuesday, Donald Trump, center, deserves a fresh chance, as he gets ready to enter the Oval Office, writes Walter Shapiro. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
With his presidential election victory Tuesday, Donald Trump, center, deserves a fresh chance, as he gets ready to enter the Oval Office, writes Walter Shapiro. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted November 30, 2016 at 4:15pm

It’s not normal to see an obscure government agency sing the praises of a politician in a tweetstorm.

But the politician, in this case, is President-elect Donald Trump, who has something of a reputation for flashy and controversial tweets himself.

The Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday sent out nine tweets applauding Trump’s announcement that he would hand over control of his businesses to his children. 

And taking a cue from the incoming president, the agency used exclamation points galore.

The tweetstorm, originally suspected to be the work of a hacker or rogue government troll, proved to be sincere accolades from a government agency devoted exclusively to executive branch accountability

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The Office of Government Ethics’ tweets at Donald Trump, praising the president-elect for his decision to step back from his businesses. (Screenshots)
The Office of Government Ethics’ tweets at Donald Trump, praising the president-elect for his decision to step back from his businesses. (Screenshots)

In a statement released by an OGE spokesman hours after the tweets were sent out, the agency explained its brief social media frenzy. 

“Like everyone else, we were excited this morning to read the president-elect’s Twitter feed indicating that he wants to be free of conflicts of interest,” the statement read. “Divestiture resolves conflicts of interest in a way that transferring control does not. We don’t know the details of their plan, but we are willing and eager to help them with it.”

Early Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted his intention to take a step back and leave his businesses in the hands of his children “in order to fully focus on running the country.”

Since his election, many government officials, public interest groups and members of the media have expressed concern over possible conflicts of interest between Trump’s personal business dealings and matters of state.

The concerned parties cited the United States Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which forbids officeholders from accepting any kind of compensation from foreign nations. 

In the three hours between the agency’s tweets and its following explanation, the OGE gained almost 2,000 new followers.