Trump says he is leav­ing busi­nesses to avoid conf licts

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

PRES­I­DENT-ELECT DON­ALD Trump said yes­ter­day that he is leav­ing his busi­ness em­pire to fo­cus on be­ing the na­tion’s 45th pres­i­dent, declar­ing that he can suc­cess­fully avoid con­flicts of in­ter­est be­tween gov­ern­ing and prof­it­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor.

“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,” he tweeted in a series of mis­sives sent be­fore dawn. “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.”

Trump did not pro­vide any de­tails about how he planned to sep­a­rate from his busi­nesses, though he said le­gal doc­u­ments were be­ing pre­pared. He has pre­vi­ously said that he would leave his busi­ness op­er­a­tions to his three el­dest chil­dren — Don­ald Jr, Eric and Ivanka.

Trump’s se­nior ad­viser, Kellyanne Con­way, said on Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump Wed­nes­day the three are ex­pected to “in­crease their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties” in the Trump Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Ethics ex­perts have pushed for Trump to fully exit the own­er­ship of his busi­nesses us­ing a blind trust or equiv­a­lent ar­range­ment.

“Oth­er­wise, he will have a per­sonal fi­nan­cial in­ter­est in his busi­nesses that will some­times con­flict with the pub­lic in­ter­est and con­stantly raise ques­tions,” Nor­man Eisen, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s chief ethics lawyer, and Richard Painter, who held the same post for Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, said in a joint state­ment on Wed­nes­day.

Trump was also mov­ing for­ward with his Cabi­net se­lec­tions, choos­ing for­mer Gold­man Sachs ex­ec­u­tive Steven Mnuchin as Trea­sury sec­re­tary and bil­lion­aire in­vestor Wil­bur Ross for Com­merce sec­re­tary.

Mnuchin, 53, led Trump’s fi­nance op­er­a­tions dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. But he has no gov­ern­ment ex­pe­ri­ence, which could prove a po­lit­i­cal hur­dle. If con­firmed by the Se­nate, Mnuchin would play a cen­tral role in shap­ing Trump’s tax poli­cies and in­fra­struc­ture plans. He would also lead an agency tasked with im­ple­ment­ing in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic sanc­tions.

Ar­riv­ing at the Trump Tower on Wed­nes­day, Mnuchin said the ad­min­is­tra­tion planned “the most sig­nif­i­cant mid­dle-in­come tax cut since Rea­gan.” He also called for low­er­ing cor­po­rate taxes to en­cour­age com­pa­nies to stay in the United States.

Trump was ac­com­pa­ny­ing his de­ci­sion to line his Cabi­net with fi­nan­cial in­dus­try in­sid­ers with an an­nounce­ment that the air con­di­tion­ing gi­ant Car­rier Corp planned to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in In­di­ana in­stead of mov­ing them to Mex­ico. Trump and Vice-pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence, the out­go­ing In­di­ana gov­er­nor, have planned an event with Car­rier of­fi­cials for Thurs­day to an­nounce the plan.

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