President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would be taking steps to avoid the financial conflicts of interest that have generated so much speculation in the weeks since the election. No president in history has had his name emblazoned all over the private sector like Trump, and the potential for corruption is impossible to ignore. And since Democrats will be chomping at the bit to throw Trump out of office at the very first opportunity, it benefits Trump and his supporters for him to be as transparent as possible.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
“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 continued. “Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!”
It would be unfair to speculate on the exact nature of Trump’s business plans, but it’s already clear that he’s not going to liquidate his ownership in the company or put his holdings into a blind trust. On the other hand, he’s maintained from the beginning that he would put his children in charge of the company, and he never promised to do anything more than that. If that’s a problem – and it probably is – it was a problem the American people knew about on election day.
On “Morning Joe,” Trump’s pick for White House Chief of Staff said the president-elect would go the extra mile to avoid improprieties. “You should know that he’s got the best people in the world working on it,” said Reince Priebus. “We are working on making sure that all those conflicts are taken care of.”
Hopefully that’s not just spin. The country just rejected Hillary Clinton, in large part, because of her scandalous charity. Not even Trump’s biggest fans are going to be amused if he dabbles in the very corruption he ran against. And if he gives Democrats the slightest opening…boy will they use it.