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Monday, February 18, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would maintain ownership of his global business empire but hand off control to his two oldest sons while president, an arrangement that watchdogs said would not prevent conflicts of interest in the White House.

Trump told a news conference he would resign from all positions overseeing hotels, golf courses and hundreds of other businesses and move his assets into a trust to help ensure that he will not consciously take actions as president that would benefit him personally.

Trump, a Republican, is under pressure to distance himself from his businesses before he moves into the White House on Jan. 20. Unlike other U.S. government officials, the president is not required by law to steer clear of conflicts of interest.

“I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I don’t like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to,” Trump said.

Ethics experts said the arrangement did not go far enough.

“Mr. Trump’s ill-advised course will precipitate scandal and corruption,” said Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics adviser under Democratic President Barack Obama.

Trump appears to be still involved with his business while preparing to take office, saying he had turned down a $2 billion development deal in Dubai he had been offered over the weekend.

The company that made the proposal, DAMAC, confirmed the discussions had taken place.

The Trump Organization will not enter into any new overseas deals while Trump is president and will only undertake domestic projects after a company ethics adviser has approved them, said Trump adviser Sheri Dillon.

Trump will only know of those deals if he hears about them through the news media, said Dillon, a lawyer at Morgan Lewis who focuses on tax and ethics.

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, is to have no further involvement with management authority in the group, she said. Trump has appointed her husband, Jared Kushner, to a senior advisory role in the White House.

Since Trump sold all his stocks last year, the Trump trust will hold only business assets and liquid assets such as cash, Dillon said.

Many other ethics experts, including the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, have urged Trump to completely divest or set up a blind trust for his assets. In a blind trust, the owner does now know what the holdings are or how their assets are managed. Trump’s oldest sons will be running his business, so the arrangement does not meet that standard.

Dillon said that was not a realistic possibility for a family-owned company and any sudden divestment would hurt Trump financially. Unlike liquid assets like stocks and investment funds, much of Trump’s wealth comes from office towers and other real estate that cannot be sold easily, as well as licensing deals that could be difficult to unwind.

Stripped of the Trump name, many of these assets would lose much of their value, Dillon said.

“President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built,” she said.

Dillon dismissed concerns that Trump could violate an anti-bribery provision in the U.S. Constitution, known as the Emoluments Clause. That applies to gifts, but not business transactions like renting a hotel room, she said.

Nevertheless, profits generated at Trump’s hotels by foreign governments will be donated to the U.S. Treasury, she said.

(Additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell in Dubai; Editing by Anna Driver, Grant McCool and James Dalgleish)

IMAGE: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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14 responses to “Trump Says He Won’t Divest From His Business While President”

  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth says:

    Handing off control to relatives? That gives us a lot of assurance—NOT!
    Trump is linked to his investments like Siamese twins to one another. He can’t divorce himself with mutilating himself in the process.

  2. Handing off control to relatives? That gives us a lot of assurance—NOT!
    Trump is so linked to his investments and the greed that went along with decades of dedication to the practice of materialism that separation would be tantamount to separation of Siamese twins joined at the head. Ben Carson wouldn’t be able to separate Trump from his assets while his Lordship sits on his special throne in the WH.

    • Independent1 says:

      Trump should not be allowed to take the oath of office unless he divests himself of all his businesses. We’ve already seen with an even held by Kuwait that he will put pressure on groups to hold events in his hotels, resorts, etc. If he’ll do that to a foreign nation like Kuwait, he would not think twice about taking advantage of his presidential position to drum up business by coercing even Americans to use his businesses every chance he got.

    • dbtheonly says:

      Hey, Ben Carson is a very good surgeon. He’s ultimately competent in his field.

      As for Trump, the question is what’s to be done. I don’t see that there’s any way to hold him accountable. I also agree that trying to disentangle Trump the image and Trump the person is nigh on impossible.

      And as for why there’s such confusion; Trump wasn’t planning on winning. He’d read the same polls we did.

  3. Thoughtopsy says:

    #FillTheSwamp

    “President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built,” she said.

    No.
    Wrong.
    That is PRECISELY what he is expected to do.
    And if F**kface Von Clownstick didn’t understand that he had to divest, sell or otherwise liquidate his companies… then he should not have been running for President in the first place.

    Just add it to the long list of things that Trump doesn’t know anything about.

    It’s like signing up for the Military… then when you’re accepted wondering why you have to take orders, and live in a Barracks when you like planning your own schedule, and you have a perfectly nice apartment in New York that you’re living in.
    Just like the Presidency, the excuse “You knew who I was when you accepted me for the role.” does not change the fact that the role you applied for requires you to do certain things.

    The correct reframing of that response is from the American people to Cheeto Jesus:
    “You are the one who applied for this role. It’s entirely your responsibility to understand what you are applying for and prepare yourself for it.”

    “It’s too hard” or “You knew who I was when you accepted me/voted for me” are not acceptable answers when becoming President… just as they wouldn’t be for ANY OTHER JOB IN AMERICA.

    Try that at your factory, or corporate job and see how far you get.

    • Cathytkelly says:

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj208d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !mj208d:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash208MediaLifeGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj208d:….,..

    • Tom S says:

      He did not tell us WHERE he planned on Draining the Swamp … into the Black Lagoon.
      He got all those Trumpanzees to chant these addled Chant phrases that they did not understand. He probably couldn’t train dolphins though.

  4. yabbed says:

    Donald Trump has been a crook and a con man his entire life. He’s not going to stop now.

  5. Sam the Sham says:

    Trump cares nothing for ethics. He thinks that he can do whatever he wants, but he is going to try to be a little conscious of appearances. No. Trump is going to be the President of the United States. That fact alone is an obscenity, but seeing as it’s inevitable, he is going to have to go a lot further in divesting himself from his business interests or he is going to have a short, scandal-ridden presidency.

  6. FireBaron says:

    Amusing. His two sons, who combined are about half as smart as he is, in charge. I wonder how long that’s gonna last before he asks Ivanka to take over from them. She’s the only one if his kids with an operational clue.

    • Tom S says:

      Since he is an Ignoramus, the 2 sons don’t seem to stand a chance.
      I hope Ivanka has Wonder Woman’s Magic Lasso as that may be all that stand between us and “Nazi Germany” with #CrookedDonald, his Cabinet and the GOP-controlled Congress.
      Looks like a toboggan ride into the middle of the 11th Century!

  7. Tom S says:

    Hey Guys and Gals, #LyingDonald probably cannot Divest because then we would all know what Putin knows – #CrookedDonald is Insolvent. Some folks on Wall St are guesstimating that his empire is worth less than $1B when Loans from Russians, German, US, UK and Red Chinese Banks are factored out.

    And to think, if #GrandioseDonald had just been a good boy and Invested the Money his Father gave him in most any Index Fund, he could be worth $12B now – the Power of Time Investing.
    But, no.
    The salary and perks of the Presidency may be the answer to Trump’s Money Problems – but not to his mental problems:
    “Most recently the President-Elect told “60 Minutes” that he would take a $1 salary because the law required him to.
    According to Title 3 of the US Code, the US President “shall earn” a salary of $400,000, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, and $19,000 for entertainment.” – CBS News Nov 16, 2016

    Ignoramus!

  8. Thomas Martin says:

    What a joke this is turning out to be. I wonder how long the gutless Republicans will allow these improprieties to take place. Impeachment should occur quickly.

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