On the day\u00a0he took the oath of office, Donald Trump delivered two messages about what to expect from his administration. First came the lofty promise of his inaugural address. \u201cThe forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,\u201d he vowed. \u201cFor too long, a small group in our nation\u2019s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished \u2014 but the people did not share in its wealth.\u201d\r\nThe second message, which Trump delivered without speaking a word, was aimed at a much smaller, but very rich, audience. As the new president\u2019s motorcade left the Capitol, rolling past knots of supporters and protesters, it suddenly stopped three blocks short of the White House. Trump, the First Lady, and the rest of his family got out of their limos and took a three-minute turn in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.\r\nThis was no random spot. The very first place Trump headed after being sworn in \u2014 his true destination all along, in a sense \u2014 was the Old Post Office and Clock Tower, which only 12 days before the election had been repurposed as the Trump International Hotel Washington. The elegant granite structure, whose architectural character Trump had promised to preserve, was now besmirched by a gaudy,\u00a0faux-gold sign bearing his name. The carefully choreographed stop sent a clear signal to the foreign governments, lobbyists, and corporate interests keen on currying favor in Washington: The rewards of government would now be reaped by a single man \u2014 and the people would bear the cost.\r\n\u00a0\r\nMore than at any time in history, the president of the United States is actively using the power and prestige of his office to line his own pockets: landing loans for his businesses, steering wealthy buyers to his condos, securing cheap foreign labor for his resorts, preserving federal subsidies for his housing projects, easing regulations on his golf courses, licensing his name to overseas projects, even peddling coffee mugs and shot glasses bearing the presidential seal. For Trump, whose business revolves around the marketability of his name, there has proved to be no public policy too big, and no private opportunity too crass, to exploit for personal profit.\r\nNowhere has the self-enrichment been more evident than at his Washington hotel, which quickly filled up with the very lobbyists and swamp creatures Trump had railed against during his campaign. Oil companies, mining interests, insurance executives, foreign diplomats, and defense contractors all rushed to book their annual conferences at Trump\u2019s hotels and resorts, where Cabinet members graciously addressed them. After hiking the nightly rate to $653 \u2014 32 percent higher than other local luxury hotels \u2014 Trump collected $2 million in profits from the property during his first three months in office. By last August, the hotel\u2019s bar and restaurant had hauled in another $8 million in revenue. And although Trump has pledged to give away any money his hotels earn from foreign governments, the plan contains a lucrative loophole: Employees at his hotels admit that they make no effort to identify guests who represent other countries, meaning that much of the foreign money spent at Trump\u2019s properties flows directly into his own pockets. On March 28, a federal judge allowed a lawsuit to go forward that charges Trump with violating the Constitution by accepting money from foreign governments at his D.C. hotel.\r\nIn fact, although Trump refuses to disclose the details of his myriad business operations, he continues to enjoy access to every dime he makes as president. Instead of setting up a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest, as other presidents have done, Trump put his two grown sons in charge of his more than 500\u202fbusiness entities. His sons regularly brief Trump about how the enterprises are doing, enabling him to personally monitor how his decisions in office affect his bottom line. What\u2019s more, only 15 days after this \u201ceyes wide open\u201d trust was set up, Trump amended the fine print to allow him to take money out of the operation any time he pleases. The loophole, buried on page 161 of the 166-page form, stipulates that any \u201cnet income or principal\u201d can be distributed to Trump \u201cat his request.\u201d Far from putting his wealth in a blind trust, Trump asked the public for\u00a0its\u00a0blind trust, effectively sticking his money in a piggy bank in Don Jr.\u2019s room that he is free to raid at any hour of the day or night.\r\nTrump\u2019s children are working hard to cash in on his time in office \u2014 especially with foreign investors. At taxpayer expense, they have flown to Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Dubai, and India in search of licensing and real-estate deals, trading on the president\u2019s influence in exchange for investments. But the biggest complication of Trump\u2019s presidency \u2014 and the one he works hardest to keep secret \u2014 is the way his entire business operation is mired in massive debt. Rather than being independently wealthy, public records show, Trump and the business partnerships in which he is a leading investor owe big banks and foreign governments at least $2.3 billion \u2014 far more than his disclosure reports indicate. His largest single loan \u2014 for nearly $1 billion \u2014 is from a syndicate assembled by Goldman Sachs that includes the state-owned Bank of China. If either Trump or Jared Kushner, who\u00a0tried to shake down Qatar\u2019s finance minister\u00a0for a loan, winds up needing to negotiate new terms on his ballooning debt, America could find itself being dictated to by a foreign government \u2014 all because the White House, thanks to Trump\u2019s business model, has become a true House of Cards.\r\nWhat follows is 501 days of official corruption, from small-time graft and brazen influence peddling to full-blown raids on the federal Treasury. Given how little Trump has disclosed about his finances, this timeline of self-dealing is undoubtedly only a fraction of the corruption that will eventually come to light. But as even this initial glimpse makes clear, Trump isn\u2019t draining the swamp \u2014 he\u2019s monetizing it.