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Ethics Office Blasts Trump's Conflict Of Interest Plan

A top official with a federal ethics office issued a scathing review regarding President-elect Donald Trump's plan to prevent conflicts of interest.

At a Jan. 11 press conference, Walter Shaub, who heads the nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics, said that the steps Trump laid out are "meaningless" and are sure to cause problems at every turn, according to Politico.

"I need to talk about ethics today because the plan the president has announced doesn't meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the past four decades has met," Shaub said at the Brookings Institution event.

Trump and his legal team clarified his approach to distance himself from his business operations at a news conference earlier that day, during which they informed the media that the president-elect would appoint an ethics adviser to review his domestic deals and that he would not allow his company to commence new international deals. He would also be putting his businesses and assets into a trust, while his two adult sons run the Trump Organization, only giving him information on the company's overall profits and losses.

"He will only know of a deal if he reads it in the paper or sees it on TV," said attorney Sheri Dillon, who also shared that Trump's company terminated 30 costly business deals at the expense of the organization in preparation for the mogul to assume office.

Trump has hired lawyers who have counseled presidents and White House elite as well as attorneys from a top law firm to advise him on ethics matters.

"President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built," said Dillon, according to The New York Times. "This plan offers a suitable alternative to address the concerns of the American people, and selling the entire Trump Organization isn't even feasible."

But Schaub said that none of this precludes the president-elect from blurring the lines between his role as the leader of the U.S. and his many high-profile business ventures.

"Stepping back from running his positions is meaningless from a conflict of interest perspective," the ethics official explained, according to Politico. "The presidency is a full-time job and he would have had to step back anyway."

Sources: Politico, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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