Trump Won’t Divest From His Global Business While President
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump held his first news conference (in six months) on Wednesday since being elected to the White House last year. Trump said to the assembled pressmen and media organizations from around the world in Trump Tower in New York, that he’ll maintain ownership of his global business empire – saying he’ll hands off control to his two oldest sons Donald Jr. and Eric while serving as President of the United States.
With stacks of documents and paperworks adorning the table close to Trump’s podium – ostensively showing paperworks of ethics-compliance-severance-evidence from his global business empire, Sheri Dillon, a lawyer at Morgan Lewis broke down the Trump’s hands off from the Trump Organization. She said Trump would resign from all positions overseeing his hotels, golf courses and hundreds of other businesses and move his assets into a trust to help ensure that he will not consciously take actions as president that would benefit him personally.
Trump said at the press conference:
“I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I don’t like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to . . .”
The Trump Organization will not enter into any new business deals outside America while Trump is president and will only undertake domestic projects after a company ethics adviser has approved them, said Dillon. According to Dillon, Trump will only know of those deals if he hears about them through the news media.
In the breakdown Trump’s first daughter, Ivanka, who will become the U.S. First Daughter, will have no further involvement in managing the organization or her own clothing brand. Ivanka Trump said on her Facebook page that she will take time off to settle her family into their new home in Washington DC. The president-elect has named Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, to a senior advisory role in the White House.
Trump sold all his stocks last year and the Trump Trust will hold only business assets and liquid assets such as cash, Dillon said.
Dillon said that stripped of the Trump brand name, many of Trump’s assets will lose much of their value: “President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built,” she said. Dillon dismissed concerns that Trump could violate an anti-bribery provision in the U.S. Constitution, known as the Emoluments Clause. That applies to gifts, but not business transactions like renting a hotel room, she said. Profits generated at Trump’s hotels by foreign governments will be donated to the U.S. Treasury, Dillon said.
The U.S. President-elect expressed his contempt for news organizations like CNN and Buzzfeed. Trump’s ire may have been provoked by a story published by CNN last night, which referenced a memo alleging that Trump may have been compromised by Russia. When CNN reporter Jim Acosta attempted to ask Trump a question Trump shut the senior white house correspondent down, accusing him of publishing fake news.There was near fireworks at Trump’s news conference when Trump said to Acosta the CNN reporter: “I’m not gonna give you a question. You are fake news.”
Acosta made repeated attempts to have the president-elect answer a question, but Trump spoke over the reporter and referred to him as “rude.”