Trump leav­ing his global busi­ness — to be run by his sons

The Progress-Index - - FRONT PAGE - By Bernard Con­don and Julie Bykowicz

NEW YORK — Breaking with pres­i­den­tial prece­dent, Don­ald Trump said Wed­nes­day he will con­tinue to profit from his global busi­ness em­pire after he en­ters the White House this month.

The Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion, which will be run by the

pres­i­dent-elect’s adult sons and a long­time com­pany ex­ec­u­tive, will pur­sue new deals in the U.S. but will not en­ter new for­eign ar­range­ments while he is in of­fice, his lawyer said at a news con­fer­ence.

Trump will put his busi­ness assets in a trust but will hand over the man­age­ment of his in­ter­na­tional real es­tate de­vel­op­ment, prop­erty man­age­ment and li­cens­ing com­pany based in New York, said the lawyer.

Trump and the com­pany are tak­ing steps to as­sure Amer­i­cans that he is “not ex­ploit­ing the of­fice of the pres­i­dency for his per­sonal ben­e­fit,” said Sheri Dil­lon of the firm Mor­gan Lewis & Bock­ius.

Yet, the ar­range­ment, which tracks closely with plans Trump has de­scribed in re­cent weeks, falls short of calls by some ethics ex­perts — and the Of­fice of Gov­ern­ment Ethics — for him to sell off his busi­nesses and put the pro­ceeds in a blind trust over­seen by an in­de­pen­dent man­ager.

“Fire­walls work in busi­nesses, not in fam­i­lies,” said Danielle Brian, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Project on Gov­ern­ment Over­sight. “Trump’s plan doesn’t pre­vent his busi­ness in­ter­ests from ben­e­fit­ing him or his fam­ily while he’s in of­fice or in­ter­fer­ing with his pres­i­den­tial du­ties.”

Dil­lon said the com­pany will add an ethics ad­viser to its man­age­ment team who must ap­prove deals that could raise con­cerns about con­flicts. And the com­pany plans to do­nate money spent by for­eign gov­ern­ments at his ho­tels to the U.S. Trea­sury, she said.

Trump him­self was breezier in his com­ments. He said U.S. con­flict-of-in­ter­est re­stric­tions don’t ap­ply to pres­i­dents, and “I could ac­tu­ally run my busi­ness and run gov­ern­ment at the same time.”

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