First Lady Melania Trump on Monday revealed that she had intended to leverage the presidency into a lucrative venture for herself, with plans to establish “multimillion dollar business relationships” during her time as “one of the most photographed women in the world.”
An attorney for the first lady filed a lawsuit arguing that Trump had missed out on a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to grab up “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals because of a Daily Mail article that alleged she had once worked for an escort service.
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The Washington Post reports:
The lawsuit comes amid numerous ethical issues surrounding the Trumps’ attempts to profit off the presidency, from sons Eric and Donald Jr. selling private hunting excursions, to daughter Ivanka auctioning off a coffee date, to Trump himself refusing to divest from his corporate empire.
Richard Painter, a White House ethics counsel under former President George W. Bush who co-filed a lawsuit against President Trump for constitutional violations, told the Post that the first lady’s plan to turn her role into a business was troubling.
“There has never been a first lady of the United States who insinuated that she intended to make a lot of money because of the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity of being first lady,” he said.