Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday November 24, 2016
Donald Trump Raises Prospect of Keeping Ties to His Firms
Donald Trump indicated Tuesday he was unlikely to disentangle himself from his business empire as fully as he previously suggested, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest while president.
Mr. Trump and his representatives said during the campaign he would have nothing to do with his businesses if he became president, promising a “total and complete separation.”
But since the election, Mr. Trump has met with foreign business partners and involved daughter Ivanka Trump in such discussions, even though he has said his children will run his companies during the presidency as a way to separate their operations from the White House.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump told the New York Times that “the law’s totally on my side” and that “the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”
Mr. Trump’s comments came after the Republican contended with other concerns overhanging his transition. Trump University disclosed a $25 million settlement Friday resolve litigation involving allegations of fraud at the defunct organization. And Mr. Trump’s charitable foundation said in a tax filing that it had engaged in self-dealing 2015 and prior years that resulted from payments to “disqualified persons,” or foundation insiders.
The president and vice president are exempt from laws that make it a crime for all others working for the executive branch to use their public office for their own enrichment. (Source: Wall Street Journal)