Led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., several Senate Democrats are seeking to pass a bill that would demand President-elect Donald Trump either avoid any potential conflict of interest or face impeachment.
The wide-ranging proposal also takes aim at Melania Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, his wife, Karen Pence, and Trump’s youngest son, Barron. It would require all of them to put any assets that could be a conflict of interest into a blind trust.
Further, it would insist that presidential appointees avoid any activities directly linked to financial or businesses controlled by the president-elect or Melania Trump.
“The American people deserve to know that the President of the United States is working to do what’s best for the country — not using his office to do what’s best for himself and his businesses,” said Warren, who relentlessly attacked Trump during the presidential campaign.
Warren is supported by Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Chris Coons, D-Del.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The bill will be introduced next month when Congress convenes.
Trump had scheduled an announcement Thursday of how he would arrange his business interests to avoid any conflicts, but that announcement was postponed until January.
Trump entered the discussion on Thursday.
The media tries so hard to make my move to the White House, as it pertains to my business, so complex – when actually it isn’t!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
“The media tries so hard to make my move to the White House, as it pertains to my business, so complex — when actually it isn’t!” he tweeted.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said Thursday that Trump “obviously has a great number of businesses, a great number of properties and developments that he has put together, and quite frankly that takes times as he transitions away from being the leader of this very successful company.”
“The priority here is to make sure we get it right,” Miller added. “If that takes a little more time, I think the American people understand that.”
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Trump indicated what may be coming when he discussed The Trump Organization after Chris Wallace raised the question of a conflict of interest.
“When I ran, everybody knew that I — I was a very big owner of real estate all over the world. I mean, I’m not going to have anything to do with the management of the company. You know, when you sell real estate, that’s not like going out and selling a stock. That takes a long time. It takes — I have — I’m going to have nothing to do with it. And I’ll — I’ll be honest with you, I don’t care about it anymore. I’m so focused on doing a great job as president,” Trump said.
Trump said he’s not focused on making more money.
“If I were going to do new deals right now, I am turning down billions of dollars of deals. I will tell you, running for president, the money I spent is peanuts compared to the money I won’t make. And that’s OK because this is so important. What I’m doing is so important,” he said.
“This is a calling. This is so — this is a movement. It’s not just me, it’s millions and millions of people. You got to see it firsthand. I’m not going to be doing deals at all. No, that would be — I don’t even know if that’s a conflict. I mean I — I have the right to do it. You know under the law I have the right to do it. I just don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do deals because I want to focus on this,” Trump said.
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