For the cost of a cup of coffee, anyone with deep enough pockets could buy the ear of the president-elect’s daughter. The “private coffee” with Ivanka Trump quickly raised ethical questions as bids exceeded $72,000.

More than java, the coffee date was potentially a quid-pro-quo ­conflict of interest, the kind that Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton addressed in the New York Times on Friday. The good government primer offers much-needed suggestions for how the next executive can avoid “the ethical tar point.”

Because he’s a businessman and not a politician, the next president will wrestle with a unique challenge — namely coexisting as a multi-million-dollar brand and the leader of the free world.

“Given the potential for conflicts, it makes sense for the American people to demand assurances that the public interest won’t be harmed by the continued operation of Trump Inc.,” Fitton writes, “So, what to do?”

In broad strokes, the answers Fitton gives to his question aren’t surprising. The watchdog wants the Trump kids out of Oval Office negotiations. He wants to publicize any of their dealings with foreign governments. And he wants to build a wall between Trump Tower and the federal government.

None of the general suggestions are that unique or novel and that’s by design. The universe of potential ethical pitfalls is already vast. Fitton admits as much, writing that “no off-the-shelf ethics plan that would cover every possible conflict.” Instead the op-ed serves as a sort of shot across the bow.

Though conservative, Judicial Watch won’t let up while there’s a Republican in the White House. Since its founding in 1994, the group has relentlessly searched for evidence of graft and signs of special favors. It’s sued Vice President Dick Cheney over his dealings with defense contractor Halliburton. And It’s slammed President Bill Clinton for his exorbitant speaking fees. As a result, it’s gained a reputation as scathingly bipartisan.

That’s a good thing for the president-elect. If he embraces transparency, Trump can free himself of distraction to focus on governing. But he needs to move quickly.

After facing blistering criticism, the Trump family took the Ivanka coffee off the market Friday. The incoming executive would do well to remember the episode. Before allegations of wrongdoing cool public opinion toward his administration, he should lean into outside oversight.

Woman faints during Obama's final WH press conference

Also from the Washington Examiner

President Obama’s final press conference at the White House was interrupted Friday when an older woman who had been standing among photographers fainted twice.

While reporters attempted to lead the woman out of the briefing room after her first fainting spell, she fainted a second time, and fell into an empty seat six rows back from the podium.

“Is somebody grabbing a doctor?” Obama turned to ask his staff. “Just give her a little room.”

The woman, who was not immediately identified, was eventually escorted out of the room and off to receive medical attention.

12/16/16 3:30 PM

Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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