President-elect Donald Trump said Nov. 22 that conflict of interest laws will not apply to him because of the presidency.
Maggie Haberman of The New York Times tweeted several excerpts from the interview, notes Mediaite.com:
"Trump on his businesses/conflict q's: 'The law's totally on my side, the president can't have a conflict of interest.'"
"'In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. There's never been a case like this,' he says of his tangles."
"'I'd assumed that you'd have to set up some type of trust or whatever and you don't,' Trump says. But he adds 'I would like to do something.'"
Trump's claim: "There's never been a case like this" is historically false.
According to The New Yorker, "[F]ormer Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush all placed their assets in blind trusts while serving as President."
Trump was asked if he would put his assets into a blind trust during a Republican presidential debate in January, and replied: "I would put it in a blind trust—well, I don’t know if it’s a blind trust if Ivanka, Don, and Eric run it. Is that a blind trust? I don’t know. But I would probably have my children run it with my executives, and I wouldn’t ever be involved."
Michael Cohen, one of Trump's lawyers, told CNN on Nov. 10 that Trump was going to cede control of his companies to Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric through a "blind trust."
However, a "blind trust" is when the people running the trust (the trustees) do not have a "financial relationship with the company’s owner," reports The New Yorker.
Trump's assertion that "the president can't have a conflict of interest" was compared by people on Twitter to former President Richard Nixon's famously false claim: "Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal," notes RawStory.com.