President-elect Donald Trump’s business entanglements have repeatedly surfaced as crucial ethics concerns facing the businessman turned politician.
The real estate mogul will work to ensure that there is “proper separation” between his business interests and his job as president of the United States, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said on Sunday amid renewed concerns following a meeting with Indian real estate executives.
Trump has sought to allay concerns regarding conflicts of interest by saying that he plans to turn over handling of the Trump Organization to his adult children. The plan has done little to address the issue not only because his children do not meet the blind trust standard that is normally considered in similar situations, but also because it is highly doubtful that his creditors will allow him to be released from his personal guarantees, particularly since he is the President-elect.
The new criticism comes after a meeting on Tuesday with three Indian businessmen who are partners in a project to build a Trump-branded luxury apartment complex in Mumbai. A photo of the three executives meeting with Trump was posted on Twitter. Indian newspapers reported last week that the business leaders talked with the Trump Organization about expanding the Trump branded projects in India.
On CBS’s ‘Face the Nation,’ Mike Pence said that Trump and his family would “work with the best legal minds in this country and create the proper separation from their business enterprise during his duties as president of the United States.”
The President-elect’s chief of staff Reince Priebus, speaking on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ said that Trump would comply with all laws and have the White House counsel’s office “review all of these things.”
“And we will have every ‘I’ dotted and every ‘T’ crossed, and I can assure the American people that there wouldn’t be any wrongdoing, or any sort of undue influence over any decision-making,” Priebus said.
Asked whether it was appropriate for family members to attend official meetings after his daughter, Ivanka, attended a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Priebus responded, “Donald Trump has been very clear from the very beginning that his family is very important to him.”
Still, critics charge that it is particularly hypocritical for the real estate mogul to continue to blur lines between his business interests and the presidency, especially when he made such appearances of impropriety to be a cornerstone of his campaign, and repeatedly attacked former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for alleged pay for play schemes based on donations not to any business interest of hers, but to her family charity.