Trump says to leave business "in total", but U.S. critics wonder how

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he will leave his "great business in total" as soon as in mid December in order to focus on the presidency, leaving more questions over what he could do to assure the public for this if he insists to hand over the business control to his adult children.

"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 tweeted.

"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. Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!" he said.

However, the morning tweets did not clarify what, if any, further steps Trump plans to take to ensure no conflicts of interest will occur, raising more questions about how the New York billionaire will manage the potential conflicts of interest between his world-wide business and the presidency after he takes office in January.

It also remains unclear whether Trump, as he has offered before, will only hand over the company management to his children, which critics says can not curb widespread worries that the business will influence his decisions in the White House. His children played influential roles during his campaign and now are senior members of his transition team. Some of them were even seen with him at his meetings with world leaders after the election.

Norm Eisen, the former top White House ethics lawyer for Democratic President Barack Obama, said Trump's Wednesday announcement continues to leave open the possibility of a major ethics scandal.

"Although it is of course important that he have no involvement in Trump business operations, in order to avoid conflicts, he must also exit the ownership of his businesses through using a blind trust or equivalent." Eisen was quoted by a Politico news report as saying.

"Otherwise he will have a personal financial interest in his businesses that will sometimes conflict with the public interest, and constantly raise questions," he said.

The kingdom of Bahrain on Tuesday sent out invitations to an event at Trump's hotel in Washington, D.C.. and Eric Trump joined a hunting trip with an unnamed Turkish businessman this week, according to local media reports.

It is believed there is no strict conflict-of-interest laws governing most U.S. elected officials, but most modern presidents have agreed to sell or sequester their assets in a "blind trust," led by an independent manager with supreme control, in order to keep past business deals, investments and relationships from influencing their White House term.

[ Editor: 刘家铭 ]
 

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