President-elect Donald Trump will not liquidate his massive business empire before he moves into the White House, a Wall Street Journal reporter said in a CNN interview on Thursday night.
Monica Langley cited an unnamed senior official in the Trump Organisation who said the Trump family views conflict-of-interest issues surrounding the president-elect as a no-win situation.
Any sale of Trump’s assets could potentially be harmful to the company’s bottom line, or could expose Trump to fresh accusations of illicit influence.
Citing sources who have knowledge of the Trump family’s thinking, Langley described their concerns: “How can we put these hundreds of millions of dollars per property on the market? It’d be a fire sale, we’d lose tons of money.”
Langley added: “Now they’re thinking these assets could bring lots of money. Foreign entities, sovereign wealth funds would want to buy and pay lots of money to try to curry favour with the Trump administration.”
Langley cited one senior official in the Trump Organisation who said “we can’t win at this point if we tried to liquidate.”
The president-elect abruptly postponed a news conference on these matters this week, and said a future announcement had not been scheduled, but would happen before Inauguration Day on January 20.
Calls for Trump to completely shed his multiple business interests — which include assets in 20 countries according to The New York Times — have been consistent and loud.
Many have suggested that if he does not divest, he would be in violation of the US Constitution’s emoluments clause upon taking office. That clause prohibits government officials from receiving gifts from foreign nations.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts promised on Thursday that she, along with four other Democratic senators, would introduce legislation to force Trump to divest entirely from his business empire.
Trump, who has previously insisted that he will not be involved in his companies’ day-to-day operations while he is in the White House.