President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday he will completely sever his ties with The Trump Organization to avoid a conflict of interest.
The full details of the announcement will come at a joint press conference with Trump and his children on Dec 15.
Trump is under no obligation to leave his business as he noted in his announcement. The president and vice president are exempt from the Office of Government Ethics.
“The law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest,” Trump told The New York Times Nov. 23. He continued, “In theory, I can be president of the United States and run my business 100 percent, sign checks on my business.”
The Trump Organization has business interests in Saudi Arabia, India, Argentina, Scotland, Canada, Turkey, Panama, South Korea, the Philippines, Uruguay, Brazil, Azerbaijan, and throughout the U.S.
Trump’s own Washington, D.C. hotel is rented from the federal government, and will negotiate rent prices while he is serving as president. These business interests have prompted calls for Trump to divest himself fully from the his organization.
Trump, however, has previously acknowledged his businesses could be a conflict of interest if elected president. “I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul,” he said of Turkey in a 2015 interview. Trump’s partner in Istanbul is reportedly close with Turkish President Recep Erdogan, whom Trump will have to work with to counter the Islamic State terrorist group.
Trump’s Dec. 15 announcement will likely put to rest critics of his business ties, and echoes his own criticism of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for failing to close the Clinton Foundation while serving in government.
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