The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is not a federal agency that habitually draws attention to itself. Its Twitter feed is mostly pretty quiet -- a tweet every couple of days, more or less, on things like its new “overview chart of the new requirements for ethics training.”
OGE has only ever liked two tweets, both from March, about an upcoming OGE National Summit.
So it was something of a surprise to see on Wednesday OGE’s succession of apparently exuberant tweets in response to Donald Trump’s own tweeted announcement that he would be “leaving his great business in total.”
Here’s what OGE tweeted:
OGE’s nine tweets on the matter were a testament to the truth of this one:
Since this seemed somewhat out of character for OGE, CBS News asked the office to explain its tweets -- had it been hacked?
No, said OGE spokesman Seth Jaffe in a statement.
“Like everyone else, we were excited this morning to read the President-elect’s twitter feed indicating that he wants to be free of conflicts of interest,” Jaffe said in an email. “OGE applauds that goal, which is consistent with an opinion OGE issued in 1983.” That opinion advised that while the president and vice president “are not legally subject to the restrictions...of the conflict of interest laws,...as a matter of policy, the President and Vice President should conduct themselves as if they were so bound.”
Jaffe also said that OGE does not yet know the details of Mr. Trump’s plan but said that OGE is “willing and eager to help them with it.”
He also reiterated in the statement that it’s divestiture that will resolve Mr. Trump’s conflicts of interest “in a way that transferring control does not.”
The president-elect, in his tweets on the matter, said, “I will be leaving my great business in total” because “I feel it is visually important as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses. Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.”
It is not yet clear how extensively Mr. Trump intends to take himself out of the Trump Organization and whether he will fully divest. He also promised to reveal more at a news conference on the topic on Dec. 15, which stands to be his first news conference after winning the presidency.
CBS News’ Maggie Dore contributed to this story.