NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump plans to put all his business assets in a trust and hand “complete and total control” of his company to his two sons and a longtime business executive to allay concerns about conflicts of interest.
“My two sons, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company,” Trump said during a news conference Wednesday. “They are going to be running it in a very professional manner, they’re not going to discuss it with me.”
Lawyer Sheri Dillon, of the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, said they’ve designed a structure that will “completely isolate” Trump from the management of the company.
“President-elect Trump wants the American public to rest assured that all of his efforts are directed to pursuing the people’s business and not his own,” Dillon said, adding they have built in “protections that will assure the American people the decisions he makes and the actions that he makes as president are for their benefit and not to support his financial interests.”
Dillon said Trump is doing this voluntarily.
“The conflicts of interest laws simply do not apply to the president or the vice president and they are not required to separate themselves from their financial assets,” she said.
The Trump Organization will appoint an ethics adviser to its management team who must approve deals that could raise concerns about conflicts.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who was an executive vice president at the company, will have no further involvement with or management authority at the family business.
Ivanka Trump is not taking an official role in her father’s administration for now. But her husband, Jared Kushner, will be serving as a senior adviser, and the family is moving to Washington.
Dillon says that Ivanka Trump will be focused on getting her children settled in their new home and at their schools.
Ivanka Trump is also expected to step away from a leadership role at her own company selling clothes and jewelry.
Dillon also said the so-called emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution does not apply to foreign payments to his company, as some ethics experts have said.
Dillon said some have claimed that foreign leaders who pay for rooms and services at his various hotels across the globe would put the president-elect in violation of the clause.
“These people are wrong. That is not what the Constitution says,” Dillon said.
She argues that “fair-value exchange,” such as paying for a hotel room, does not run afoul of the Constitutional ban of foreign gifts or payments to the president.
Dillon says nonetheless the Trump Organization will voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments to his hotels to the U.S. Treasury.
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