Speed Reads

Trump Transitions

In lieu of press conference, Donald Trump tweets out plan to handle business conflicts

On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump canceled a planned news conference set for Thursday in which he was to explain how he will handle his businesses when he is in the White House. But he ended the day throwing a bone to anyone interested in how he will try to avoid conflicts of interest, sending out two tweets asserting that "even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my busineses [sic] before January 20th," adding that "two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office."

The idea that his companies would make no deals is new, but his tweets did little to dispel concerns about Trump's conflicts of interest and other ethical concerns. "It makes no sense to say 'no new deals,'" Richard Painter, a White House ethics adviser to George W. Bush, told The New York Times, noting that Trump tweeted this out right before midnight on a Monday. "What is he talking about?" Trump's tweets raise more questions than answers, Painter added. "Is he going to continue to borrow money from foreign banks like Bank of China? That is a deal.... Or collect rent from foreign government-owned companies? That is a deal. Will he still be hiring people, or having people stay in his hotels?"

Much of what we know about Trump's web of real estate and licensing businesses is from his self-reported financial disclosure form; he has refused calls to release his tax returns. Trump's last press conference was July 27.