President-elect Donald Trump is mulling a partial departure from the Trump Organization in which he would hand over control of the company to his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., the New York Times reports.
According to sources familiar with the plan under consideration, Ivanka Trump would also take a leave of absence from the company and head to Washington with husband Jared Kushner, whose official role in the upcoming Trump White House is yet to be determined.
But Trump passing down control of the company comes with a major caveat, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to the Times. The president-elect still plans to maintain a stake in the Trump Organization and is exploring a “legal structure” that would allow him to separate himself from the company without the complete divestment from it.
The Office of Government Ethics has made it clear to Trump that only a complete divestiture from his business interests would constitute a true separation from the Trump Organization and convey a willingness to avoid conflicts of interest that could arise from his internationally active company’s dealing with foreign governments. The OGE went out of its way last month to make this point with a long series of posts on Twitter, the president-elect’s favorite public forum. “As we discussed with your counsel, divestiture is the way to resolve these conflicts,” the OGE account tweeted to president-elect.
As for Ivanka Trump, she is looking into ways to distance herself from her own line of apparel and other Ivanka Trump-licensed merchandise, sources said, and plans to appoint a president to take over the operations of her company.
In the spring, Eric Trump told The Real Deal that if his father became president the three oldest siblings would run the Trump Organization in equal measure. When asked if one sibling was likely to take a more senior role at the very top of the organization chain he replied: “That’s not the way it works in the company.” [NYT] — Will Parker