wait a minute
President Donald Trump may have handed control of his business empire over to his sons, but he'll apparently still be getting regular updates on his family business' profitability. In an interview with Forbes published Friday, Eric Trump said he was "deadly serious" about maintaining a clear separation between business and government to avoid any conflicts of interest — only to admit minutes later that he will be keeping his father in the loop on business matters. "Yeah, on the bottom line, profitability reports, and stuff like that, but you know, that's about it," Eric said, noting the updates would likely be "quarterly."
President Trump previously indicated he would not talk to his sons about the business at all, but Eric was singing a different tune in his interview with Forbes. "My father and I are very close," Eric said. "I talk to him a lot. We're pretty inseparable."
For ethics experts already skeptical of President Trump's plans to pass his business off to his kids instead of a blind trust, Eric's comments further call into question just how separate the president will actually remain from his business empire. "He is breaking down one of the few barriers he claimed to be establishing between him and his businesses, and those barriers themselves were weak to begin with," said Larry Noble, general counsel of Campaign Legal Center and former chief ethics officer at the Federal Election Commission. "But if he is now going to get reports from his son about the businesses, then he really isn't separate in any real way."