President-elect Donald Trump is postponing an announcement about his plans to separate from his business empire, CBS News’ Major Garrett confirms. Mr. Trump had planned to share his decision during a news conference with his family Thursday, but now that decision and news conference have been moved to next month.
Mr. Trump wants more time to make the arrangements for his businesses, though he still plans to make this announcement before his inauguration on Jan. 20. Bloomberg was the first to report this development.
Monday night, the president-elected said, in two separate tweets, “Even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my businesses before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office.”
Late Monday night, Mr. Trump was tweeting again:
Mr. Trump has been selecting his White House staff and Cabinet officials over the past few weeks, and he has said he’ll name his secretary of state this week. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson and 2012 GOP nominee have been the main contenders, although on Sunday, Mr. Trump also mentioned Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee as a possible secretary of state.
An analysis Bloomberg did in July estimated Mr. Trump has “about $3.6 billion in assets and $630 million in debt held in more than 500 companies.”
In November, Mr. Trump tweeted that he would leave his business to avoid conflicts of interest, and he said then that the “legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.”
The president-elect has dismissed the potential conflicts of interest his business empire could pose to his presidency.
“The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump told the New York Times in a meeting last month. “In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. There’s never been a case like this.
Other questions have been raised about the Constitution’s emoluments clause and its application to Mr. Trump, however. An emolument is a fee or salary, and in this case the clause prohibits government officials from receiving gifts from foreign government or state-run foreign companies without congressional consent.