Trump’s Continued Ownership of Businesses Will Cause Serious Problems for His Presidency and the Country

Dec. 9, 2016

Trump’s Continued Ownership of Businesses Will Cause Serious Problems for His Presidency and the Country

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: Today, Public Citizen joined a bipartisan group of organizations and individuals, many of whom specialize in ethical and conflicts of interest issues, in calling on President-elect Trump to divest his businesses into a true blind trust managed by an independent trustee or its equivalent. This is the approach that has been taken by Trump’s predecessors for the past four decades.

There is only one solution to Trump’s conflicts of interests: He needs to divest his holdings.This is a kindergarten ethics problem that the president-elect seems unable to solve.

Failing to divest will mean that a swirl of corruption will surround the presidency for the entirety of Trump’s administration.

This is not a matter of following technical and unreasonably rigid rules. The Trump conflicts will unavoidably influence policy-making in areas ranging from consumer protection to worker rights, tax to bankruptcy, responsibilities of government contractors to rights of victims of corporate wrongdoing to sue in court. Given the global nature of Trump’s business empire, the conflicts will materially affect the conduct of foreign policy.

The American people deserve a president who works for them, not his own personal enrichment.