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Donald Trump ignored numerous governance norms in his one term as U.S. President, especially those that prescribe disclosure of official and personal financial information. His brief period of illness from COVID-19, which he broadcast to the world via his Twitter account, revealed the complexity of Trump’s relationship to the concept and norms of transparency that presume information’s necessity for a functional and accountable state. At the same time that Trump offered little in the way of coherent and authoritative information about his health, he also provided an enormous amount of seemingly “inside” and direct accounts of the progress of his illness—indeed, much more than tradition and law appeared to require. This incident epitomized both Trump’s distinct, populist approach to transparency and transparency’s limitations as a concept of democratic governance.