x

Politics

Trump Gives Up Businesses to Avoid Conflicts

November 30, 2016

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump said Nov. 30 he’s leaving his business empire to focus on being the nation’s 45th President, declaring 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’d leave his business operations to his three eldest children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday the three are expected to “increase their responsibilities” in the Trump Organization.

Asked if the tweets in which the President-elect announced the plans to leave his business, Conway replied, “It appears that way.”

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.

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 Trump Tower 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, planned an event with Carrier officials Dec. 1 to announce the plan.

Details of the agreement were unclear. Trump spent much of his campaign pledging to keep companies like Carrier from moving jobs overseas, but he also dismissed tax incentives and favorable financing deals often used by state officials to keep major employers in their states.

In August, at a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, Trump declared such incentives don’t work.

“Here’s a low-interest loan if you stay in Pennsylvania. Here’s a zero-interest loan. You don’t have to pay. Here’s a this. Here’s a tax abatement of any kind you want. We’ll help your employees. It doesn’t work, folks,” he said.

Nationally, manufacturers shed 10,000 jobs in November, according to a report released Nov. 30 by payroll services provider ADP.

U.S. manufacturing firms have struggled in the past year as a stronger dollar has cut into exports and U.S. businesses have spent less on machinery and other equipment. They have cut 53,000 jobs in the last 12 months.

Trump’s sprawling business empire is unprecedented for a modern sitting president, as is the complexity and opaqueness of his financial holdings.

He refused to release his taxes during the campaign, citing an ongoing audit, and will be under no legal obligation to do so in the White House.

Trump owns golf clubs, office towers and other properties in several countries. He holds ownership stakes in more than 500 companies.

He has struck licensing deals for use of his name on hotels and other buildings around the world and has been landing new business in the Middle East, India and South America.

Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming White House Chief of Staff, was vague in describing how the President-elect planned to separate himself from his businesses, saying “that’ll all be worked out.”

Priebus told MSNBC’s Morning Joe, that Trump has “got the best people in America working on it.”

Priebus demurred when asked if Trump planned to put his businesses in a blind trust — as Presidents have traditionally done — or leave them in his children’s hands. “I’m not ready to reveal that really,” Priebus said.

Priebus added that Trump’s business acumen and the many interests he has as a result of it are “nothing to be ashamed about.”

He said the country hasn’t seen a President with such business holdings before and the rules and regulations “don’t contemplate this scenario.”

___

By JULIE PACE and LAURIE KELLMAN. AP writers Kathleen Hennessey, Julie Bykowicz and Christopher Rugaber in Washington and Catherine Lucey in New York contributed 

RELATED

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mitsotakis: Today’s Bill Comes to Define a New Field in Which Everyone Should Move

ATHENS - At the end of August 2022, I announced a legislative initative for the upgrading and modernisation of the protection, the operation of the security agencies and the operation of the communications and after the change in National Intelligence Service's (EYP) leadership and the establishment of double check to the legal intrusions," stated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the parliament on Thursday during the debate on Justice Minstry's bill on the lifting of the communications confidentiality, cybersecurity and protection of the citizens' personal data.

The Tsigaris cousins behind the successful Nick the Greek quick-service Greek food chain that began in California and has 38 restaurants open and 60 more in the works is selling a majority stake to Yadav Enterprises, because of a Greek link.

DOHA, Qatar — England's players have been asked one question on repeat as they prepare to face France in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday.

NEW YORK — New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin will miss at least two weeks because of a fracture in his right leg.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Ash Barty's Australian Open singles title in January was enough to ensure the former top-ranked tennis player won Australia's most prestigious annual sports award -- despite retiring from the game less than two months later.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.