Trump taps two sons to head company as he ascends to presidency

Trump taps two sons to head company as he ascends to presidency
  1. Trump taps two sons to head company as he ascends to presidency
    Donald Jr. and Eric, alongside Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg, will head up the corporation in his stead. …

President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he would turn over his sprawling business empire to a trust controlled by his two adult sons, as part of a plan to help him avoid conflicts of interest as commander-in-chief.

Trump, however, said his Trump Organization would continue to pursue deals in the U.S., although not abroad, while he is President.

The President-elect, as well as an attorney he'd hired, Sheri Dillon of the Morgan Lewis global law firm, outlined the steps during a press conference at Trump Tower Wednesday morning — the mogul's first in nearly six months.

Trump explained he would put "complete control" of the company in the hands of his two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, as well as Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg.

"They're going to be running it in a very professional manner, they're not going to discuss it with me," he said, before calling on Dillon to explain the details.

Trump also pointed to a stack of documents next to him at the lectern, claiming he "signed" all of them as part of his efforts to bring about the legal transfer of corporate power to his kin.

Dillon said the Trump Organization would also appoint an ethics adviser to its management team, who must approve deals that could raise concerns about conflicts of interest.

Trump also plans to donate money spent by foreign governments at his hotels to the U.S. Treasury, Dillon said.

Trump has faced myriad questions regarding potential conflicts of interest, including concerns that foreign governments — particularly those where he has business ties, like Russia, Turkey, the Philippines and Argentina — could seek to buy his favor.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) 17 photos view gallery Donald Trump's road to the White House as President-elect

And his new hotel in Washington, D.C, just blocks from the White House, had been one of many elements of his business under scrutiny, as reports continually emerged indicating foreign diplomats were choosing to stay there in an apparent attempt to curry favor.

Trump also said he'd rejected a $2-billion real estate contract with an Emirati billionaire developer whom he'd previously dealt with, because he did "not want to take advantage of" his new power.

"I didn't have to turn it down, because as you know, I have a no conflict situation because I'm President," he said, referring to a law that makes the President exempt from many conflict-of-interest laws that apply to nearly all executive branch members, requiring them to sell off business interests.

"So I could actually run my business and run the government at the same time," he said. "But I don't like the way that looks."

"But I could if I wanted to," Trump said.

Even before that unusual rejoinder, Trump's announcement contradicted his previous vows that his company would do "no new deals" at all, as long as he was in the White House.

The plan also fell short of what multiple government ethics experts, as well as the federal Office of Government Ethics, had urged Trump to do: Sell his assets and put the resulting cash in a blind trust overseen by an independent entity or manager — as prior Presidents and other lawmakers have done.

But Dillon said that option was not practical, explaining that Trump "should not be expected to destroy the company he built."

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President-elect Donald Trump, speaking at a Wednesday press conference in New York City, says he will transfer ownership of his company to his two adult sons.

(James Keivom/New York Daily News)

Government ethics watchdogs immediately pounced on Trump's plan.

"By refusing to divest, Trump is breaking decades of precedent, just as he did with his refusal to release his tax returns. He has…

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