Trump vows to separate himself from his businesses — but skepticism abounds
President-elect Donald Trump has made a vow to completely separate himself from his business operations — but this promise is being treated with extreme skepticism.
On Twitter Wednesday, Trump announced that he would be holding a press conference with his children on December 15 to “discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great businesses in total in order to fully focus on running the country.”
Trump went on to say that “legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations” because “the Presidency is a far more important task!”
Previously, Trump has said that he would plan to turn over business operations to his children as part of a “blind trust” that wouldn’t at all fit the regular definition of a blind trust. The fact that Trump’s children will be at this press conference indicates that this portion of the plan will likely remain intact.
The instant reaction to Trump’s announcement was one of skepticism from reporters and pundits from across the spectrum. New York Times reporter Eric Lipton, for one, noted that Trump’s previously announced plans are nowhere near enough to avoid massive conflicts of interest.
Legal expert say turning business to children not enough-not a blind trust.Conflict still exists. But let's see what PEOTUS comes up with pic.twitter.com/uz8vNUvZfz
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) November 30, 2016
Similarly, conservative pundit David Frum expressed skepticism that Trump could truly remove major conflicts of interest between his businesses and the presidency in such a short time — and said it’s very likely “large existing incentives” to bribe Trump and his family will remain in place.
The test is: will Trump on December 15 remove the large existing incentives to try to bribe the president and his family?
— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 30, 2016
And conservative writer Noah Rothman writes that any attempt by Trump to simply switch over his assets to his children and claim he’s conflict-free should be laughed out of the room.
Trump's conflicts of interest are harder to unravel than many imagine. Transferring control to Ivanka won't cut it. https://t.co/s7QVap7cBl
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) November 30, 2016