Trump denies conflict of interest

CONFLICT Donald Trump gave an interview to the New York Times on Tuesday

Donald Trump

Billionaire US President-elect Donald Trump has said he is not obliged to cut ties to his business empire when he takes office on January 20.

A Democratic senator is tabling a resolution calling on him to liquidate his assets to prove he does not intend to profit from the office of president.

There is no legal requirement to liquidate assets but past US presidents have set aside their business dealings.

Mr. Trump also disowned far right activists who hailed his election win.

“Alt-right” activists could be seen making Nazi salutes at a conference in Washington DC over the weekend, where a speaker enjoined them to “Hail Trump”.

Mr. Trump, who has flown to Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, is still assembling his White House team. One of America’s top generals, David Petraeus, has told the BBC he would be willing to serve under him.

“In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly,” he told the New York Times in an interview.

“I’d assumed that you’d have to set up some type of trust or whatever and you don’t.”

However, he added that he would “like to do something” to separate his two areas of responsibility.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin would like a more formal separation. He plans to introduce a resolution next week calling on the president-elect to adopt blind trusts or take equivalent measures to ensure that he complies with the constitution over potential conflicts of interest.

The property tycoon is said to be currently worth $3.7bn (£3bn) by Forbes magazine, with more than 500 different enterprises in his business empire.

One example of a possible conflict of interest is the newly opened Trump International Hotel in Washington DC, the BBC’s David Willis reports.

Mr. Trump already stands to profit from an influx of visitors in the weeks leading up to his inauguration.

 

 -BBC

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