Trump tries to quell concerns over conflicts of interest

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 12, 2017
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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that he has taken steps to separate himself and his business empire.

"My two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company," Trump said in his first press conference since winning the election.

"They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They are not going to discuss it with me," Trump said as he pointed to a pile of paper beside his podium, describing as some of the documents he signed turning over "complete and total control" to his sons.

Sheri Dillion, an attorney tasked by Trump to isolate him from this businesses, said Trump's investments and business assets have been or will be conveyed to a trust prior to Jan. 20, when he takes office.

The trust will operate without Trump's influence and dictates that all deals should go through ethics vetting and that there will be no foreign deals.

Trump "will only know of a deal if he reads it in the paper or sees it on TV," Dillion said.

Dillion also argued against liquidating Trump's assets and put the proceeds in a blind trust, a common practice of previous presidents that some suggested Trump to follow, saying that it would be both infeasible and ineffective to quell concerns over conflicts of interest.

Both Trump and Dillion cited a clause in the conflict of interest law that conflict of interest restrictions exclude the president, and that Trump is cutting his business ties "voluntarily".

Despite the effort to ease concerns on his business dealings, Trump again refused to release his tax returns, which he said were under audit.

"The only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters," he said.

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