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Trump takes a major step to avoid conflict of interest

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Politics

Trump takes a major step to avoid conflict of interest

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Trump takes a major step to avoid conflict of interest

On Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that he intends to leave his “great business in total” in order to focus his new post as president. Although there are no laws that prohibit Trump from involving himself in his private company, his decision has been made in response to growing worries over the real estate mogul’s conflicts of interest around the globe. Trump has made a complete 180 in his previous refusal to distance himself from his private business, if he did become president of the United States.

However, he has not yet elaborated whether he would be selling his stake, or, as he has mentioned before, surrendering company management to his children. His ethics advisers have warned that giving his children the responsibility of company management would not resolve worries that the business could influence his decisions in the White House.

But even if Trump hands over company management to his children, there is still a chance for him to make presidential decisions for their benefit. Ivanka, Eric, Donald Jr. and even Trump’s son-in-law Jared have already played a key part in his governing preparations, and have been serving on the transition team.

Yet Trump wanted to make himself clear. In consecutive tweets this morning, Trump posted: “I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

“While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses. Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!”

Former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter said that Trump’s move did not appear to offer enough of a division to keep entanglement worries at bay. “That’s business operations, not ownership. The problem is, we need to resolve the conflicts of interest that arise from his ownership. And we’re hearing nothing about how that’s getting resolved,” he added.

“Even if he does not operate the businesses, you’re going to have lots of people working for the business running around the world trying to cut deals. And it’s critical that none of those people discuss US business in a way that could be interpreted, or misinterpreted, of offering quid pro quo … or soliciting a bribe on the part of the president.”

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