WATCH: Ethics Watchdog Who Resigned in Disgust Blasts Trump on His Way out the Door
Top government ethics watchdog Walter Shaub abrupty resigned this week, but not before unloading on a Trump administration that has frustrated his work at every turn. On Thursday, he spoke with CBS' Julianna Goldman about his decision.
"My current experience with this administration has taught me that the ethics program needs to be stronger than it is," he told Goldman.
For months, Shaub watched as Donald Trump blurred the line between private businessman and president, and he openly criticized his boss for failing to fully distance himself from his conflicts of interest.
Ultimately Shaub was unable to "compel the current White House to go beyond the bare miniumum of ethical standards," Goldman reported. Finally, he decided he could no longer be party to the administration's avarice.
"Do you think the president and his family are using the office to enrich themselves?" Goldman asked.
Shaub said, "There's an appearance that his businesses are profiting from his occupying the presidency." He noted he doesn't know what Trump's intentions are.
The staff and the community of the Office of Government Ethics is "committed to protecting that principle that public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty in the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain," Shaub wrote in his resignation letter to President Trump.
"The definition of corruption that's accepted internationally by most people who study the issue is abuse of entrusted authority," he added. "And so, you don't want to be appearing to abuse your authority by creating opportunities to advertise your own financial interests."
The president's legal team ignored Shaub's advice prior to Trump's inauguration in January. Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten shot down Shaub's recommendation that Trump fully divest from his businesses, reasoning that Trump would stand to lose money.
"I have no sympathy for that," remarked Shaub. "I mean, he's in a position where he's going to have to send young men and women to die in combat, or risk their lives at least. So no, it's not too much to ask for somebody to incur a bit of a financial loss if they have to sell things off. "