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‘The Most Blatant Conflicts of Interest in the History of American Politics’

Nov. 17, 2016

‘The Most Blatant Conflicts of Interest in the History of American Politics’

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: More than a dozen pro-democracy organizations and leading government ethics experts today urged President-elect Donald Trump to divest his holdings in his business assets. They called on Trump or an independent trustee to sell his assets, with proceeds invested in treasury bills and mutual funds that do not create conflicts of interest. Alternately, the proceeds could be invested by an independent trustee operating a genuine blind trust. Read the press release here.

As the owner of numerous companies spanning the entire globe, Donald Trump could take office with what might well be the most blatant conflicts of interest in the history of American politics.

The scope of Trump’s empire means that his businesses are impacted by a wide range of government policies, including taxes, consumer protection, civil justice, financial regulation, employee rights, foreign policy and much more.

Trump has proposed transferring control to a misnamed “blind trust” under the direction of his children. That’s more like an all-seeing trust! It would do nothing to eliminate the staggering conflicts of interest. Making matters still worse is that it is apparent that his children will be heavily involved in administration policy making.

The American people need to know that Trump is not running the government to benefit his own corporate empire.

There are difficult ethical problems in life. This is not one of those. The only solution to this problem – the commonsense solution – is for President-Elect Donald Trump to divest his business holdings.