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