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Trump says he will get out of business to focus on presidency

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NEW YORK: US President-elect Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to step back from running his global business empire to avoid conflicts of interest, as concern over his dual role mounts ahead of the Republican’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Trump, a real estate magnate, wrote on Twitter he will hold a news conference in New York on Dec. 15 with his children on how he will separate himself “in total” from his worldwide business holdings.

Trump said he is not required by law to alter his relationship with his business, but added: “I feel it is visually important, as president, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.”

 

A brand name around the globe, Trump had previously argued that he had no need to separate himself from the Trump Organization, which owns hotels and golf resorts from Panama to Scotland, and diverse businesses like a winery and a modeling agency.

Trump said on Wednesday that “legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.”


READ MORE: Tycoon as president: Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest


Criticism about his role has grown as he heads toward taking over the White House from President Barack Obama. The Wall Street Journal urged Trump in a Nov. 17 editorial to liquidate his assets in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict.

His company had previously said his adult children would be put in charge of the business.

Trump’s businesswoman daughter Ivanka joined her father’s telephone call with Argentine President Mauricio Macri earlier this month and attended a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, raising questions of possible conflicts of interest.

Rules on conflict of interest for executive branch employees do not apply to the president, but Trump will be bound by bribery laws, disclosure requirements and a section of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits elected officials from taking gifts from foreign governments.

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