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Trump stepping out of his business empire

  • Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:27
Author: 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Thu, 2016-12-01
ID: 
1480539706712730500

WASHINGTON: President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that he’s leaving his business empire to focus on being the nation’s 45th president, bowing to pressure to avoid potential conflicts of interest between governing and profiting from the private sector.
President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that he’s leaving his business empire to focus on being the nation’s 45th president, bowing to pressure to avoid potential 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.”
He said legal documents are “being crafted which take me completely out of business operations,” he added, saying the presidency is “a far more important task!”
Asked about Trump’s announcement on separating himself from his business empire, Reince Priebus, Trumps incoming White House chief of staff, said “that’ll all be worked out.”
Priebus said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” that “he’s got the best people in America working on it.” Priebus demurred when asked if Trump planned to put his businesses in a blind trust or leave them in the hands of his adult children.
“I’m, not ready to reveal that really,” he said.
Priebus added that Trump’s business acumen and the many business interests he has as a result of it is “nothing to be ashamed about.” He said Trump is “taking seriously” the issue of possible conflicts of interest.
“We’re making sure that all those conflicts are taken care of,” Priebus said. He said the applicable rules and regulations “are very vague” and that’s Trump’s people are “doing the best job we can.”
Priebus said the country hasn’t seen a president of such business acumen before and that the rules and regulations “don’t contemplate this scenario.”
The Trump Organization, the business conglomerate run by President-elect Donald Trump, oversees vast luxury real estate assets and golf courses around the world, creating a complex web of potential conflicts of interest.
Trump announced Wednesday that pending legal arrangements would take him “completely out of business operations” in a bid to address any such conflicts.
Because the Trump Organization is privately held, the company and three of Trump’s children, Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric, can keep its activities and investments relatively secret.
The company does not disclose its ownership stake in properties, whether it holds only a minority interest or is merely leasing its name. The Trump Organization’s debts are also closely guarded.
Trump’s personal fortune is also open to discussion.
Forbes estimates it at $ 3.7 billion while the former reality TV star claims it is three times greater.

The Cabinet picks
The president-elect on Wednesday added new names to his Cabinet, tapping Steven Mnuchin to be his Treasury secretary and Wilbur Ross to head the Commerce Department.
But a few key nominations have yet to be made, such as secretary of state, secretary of defense and secretary of homeland security.
Former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s former campaign finance director, confirmed that Trump has picked him as treasury secretary and that billionaire investor Wilbur Ross has been chosen for commerce secretary.
Mnuchin, 53, led Trump’s finance operations during the presidential campaign. But he has no government experience, which could prove a hurdle in navigating the tricky politics of Washington. 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.
Trump is tapping conservatives with deep ties to Washington and Wall Street to fill out key Cabinet roles as he continues to deliberate over his secretary of state.

Palin under consideration
Trump is considering former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for secretary of Veterans Affairs, ABC News reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.
Palin was an early Trump supporter and the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate in 2008.

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