President-elect Donald Trump revealed that he would be leaving his business in order to avoid any conflicts of interest regarding the presidency once he takes office in January of 2017.
Trump made the announcement in a series of tweets, saying he was planning a press conference to expand on the matter.
“I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that 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!” Trump tweeted, Politico reported.
“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. Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!”
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Trump spoke to his business interests and the future of the Trump brand after he takes office.
“As far as the ... potential conflict of interests, though, I know that from the standpoint, the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest,” he said. “And I understand why the president can’t have a conflict of interest now because everything a president does in some ways is like a conflict of interest.”
“In theory, I could run my business perfectly, and then run the country perfectly. And there’s never been a case like this where somebody’s had -- if you look at other people of wealth -- they didn’t have this kind of asset and this kind of wealth, frankly. It’s just a different thing,” he added.
Despite Trump’s insistence that he wouldn’t have any kind of conflicts of interests, many have questioned the fact that politicians and business partners alike continue to come to Trump Tower in New York since his election.
“Trump was totally wrong when he said the conflict of interest doesn’t apply to me,” former Obama administration ethics counselor Norman Eisen told The Guardian. “It shows he doesn’t know the constitution. The most fundamental conflict clause in the US constitution is the prohibition on emoluments on payments, presents or other things of value being given to American political officials including the president.”