During a Fox News Sunday interview, President-elect Donald Trump confirmed that while he plans for his adult children to handle management of his sprawling business when he’s in office, he doesn’t plan to relinquish ownership.
LARGE OWNER OF REAL ESTATE
“When I ran, everybody knew that I was a very big owner of real estate all over the world,” Trump said in an attempt to explain away the conflict of interest concerns surrounding his impending presidency. “I’m not going to have anything to do with management of the company.”
But that arrangement would put Trump in violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, which bars office holders from accepting “any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” Foreign governments are already booking events at Trump’s new D.C. hotel — a clear example of a foreign state providing Trump with an emolument (“a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office”) that could be intended to curry favor with the soon-to-be-president.
There have been suggestions by several people that he should sell his D.C. Hotel.
With regard to his plan for the Trump Organization, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pushed back, asking Trump, “isn’t that a huge conflict of interest?” Trump responded with verbal somersaults.
“They’re going to run my company,” Trump said of his children. “But I’m not going to do deals. And I think — you know, I think that’s going to be good.”
He then appears to dismiss the idea that his direct involvement would even present a conflict at all. “I’m not going to be doing deals at all. I don’t even know if that’s a conflict. I mean, I have the right to do it. I just don’t want to do it.”
Trump needs to do something about his businesses and tell the America people what that decision is before his Inauguration.