Trump Promises to Leave His Businesses. We’ll Believe It When We See It.

“I feel it is visually important.”

Peter Foley/ZUMA

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Amid mounting concerns over his ever-growing potential conflicts of interest, Donald Trump on Wednesday said he intends to abandon his businesses “in total” so he can properly lead the country. The president-elect posted a series of early-morning tweets:

Trump has insisted that despite concerns about massive conflicts of interest that have arisen since his election, he is under no legal obligation to distance himself from his businesses. “The law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest,” he told the New York Times last week. Trump is correct. The presidency is exempt from conflict-of-interest rules.

But his intention to transfer his business ties to his adult children will likely do little to ameliorate concerns over Trump’s various business entanglements. Legal experts note that simply knowing who controls the assets negates the blind trust arrangement. His announcement on Wednesday comes one day after the Kingdom of Bahrain revealed it was hosting a large celebration at Trump’s Washington, DC, hotel next month—the same property other foreign diplomats have said they feel pressured to stay at while in town.

“Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!'” one Asian diplomat recently told the Washington Post. “Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?'”

Trump’s news conference on December 15 will be his first since becoming president-elect.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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