Trump vows to put aside doubts over business empire

His daughter Ivanka joined a telephone call her father had with Argentine President Mauricio Macri earlier this month and attended a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, creating concerns about possible conflicts of interest.

"You want some people that are insiders and understand the system and some outsiders that are creative thinkers, out-of-the-box thinkers and disruptors", said Anthony Scaramucci, an asset manager who is on Trump's transition committee.

On a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan, Trump touted his Turkish business partner as "a close friend" and passed on remarks that he is "your great admirer", as The Huffington Post reported last week.

His company, the Trump Organization, had previously said it was looking at new business structures with the goal of transferring control of his portfolio to his Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump - three of his adult children who are involved with the company.

George Gigicos, Trump's director of advance, said the NY billionaire is expected to focus on battleground states that voted in his favor, like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Trump spokespeople did not immediately return requests for more details on the move.

"The bottom line is we won", Trump said.

Former White House ethics counsels and anti-corruption activists said Trump's claim that he would soon take himself "completely out of business operations" would do little on its own to prevent his financial interests interfering with his duties to the public as president.

It is believed there is no strict conflict-of-interest laws governing most USA 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.

Trump said he is not required by law to alter his relationship with his business, but added: "I feel it is visually important, as president, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses".

Ethics experts are zeroing in on this as the trickiest issue for Trump, whose worldwide business means he is accepting payments for goods and services in other countries.

"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".

However, critics argue that it would be an unprecedented ethical conflict for Trump to maintain interest in properties spanning the globe - investments that rely partly on goodwill from foreign governments and regulators.

"I'm not ready to reveal that really", Priebus said.

Still, that is what the Office of Government Ethics has said he should do. And the lease on the hotel Mr Trump recently completed in Washington DC appears to bar participation by any elected official. After his election in 1976, Carter set up elaborate arrangements to remove himself from the family peanut business, its management and knowledge of day-to-day decisions.

He has said he has already turned the businesses over to his children, but many think that's not enough distance. But any determination that he needed to sell the lease entirely could lead to lengthy negotiations that would nearly certainly take longer than the seven weeks left before Mr Trump is scheduled to take the oath of office.

Steve Mnuchin-S0T-(get this from my 4 pm) We're going to have the most significant middle income tax cut since Reagan.

The Wall Street picks were panned by regulatory watchdog groups.

But when asked whether Trump meant to divest himself of ownership of his various properties or merely managerial control, Spicer said the president-elect would provide that information next month.

Anyone who purchased Trump Organisation property could also face questions over whether the price reflected an attempt to do a favour for the president-elect.



Other news