Trump’s efforts to step away from private empire limited
Washington : President-elect Donald Trump pledged to step away from his family-owned international real estate development, property management and licensing business before taking office January 20. With less than two weeks until his inauguration, he hasn’t stepped very far.
Trump has canceled a handful of international deals and dissolved a few shell companies created for prospective investments. Still, he continues to own or control some 500 companies that make up the Trump Organisation, creating a tangle of potential conflicts of interest without precedent in modern US history.
The president-elect is expected to give an update on his effort to distance himself from his business at a Wednesday news conference. He told The Associated Press on Friday that he would be announcing a “very simple solution.”
Ethics experts have called for Trump to sell off his assets and place his investments in a blind trust, which means something his family would not control. That’s what previous presidents have done.
Trump has given no indication he will go that far. He has said he will not be involved in day-to-day company operations and will leave that duty to his adult sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. The president-elect has not addressed the ethical minefield of whether he would retain a financial interest in his Trump Organisation.
A look at what’s known about what Trump has and hasn’t tried in order to resolve his business entanglement before his swearing-in January 20.
Trump has abandoned planned business ventures in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, India and Argentina. The Associated Press found he has dissolved shell companies tied to a possible business venture in Saudi Arabia.
It’s unclear whether those moves are signs that Trump is dismantling the web of companies that make up his business. Trump Organisation general counsel Alan Garten has insisted none of the closures is related to Trump’s election. He calls them “normal housecleaning.”
The Trump Organisation still has an expanding reach across the globe: The Trump International Golf Club in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is set to open next month.