Trump claims he resigned from 400 businesses

Critics say step is not enough to avoid conflicts of interest
January 24, 2017 12:55PM

Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images)

President Donald Trump claims he has resigned from the Trump Organization and 400 Trump-controlled entities and handed control to his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. A spokesperson provided a copy of a resignation letter dated Jan. 19 as evidence.

Critics argue that simply resigning from his company is not enough to prevent conflicts of interest, since Trump could still be involved in decision making. “Stepping back from running his business is meaningless from a conflict-of-interest perspective,” Walter Shaub, director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, told NBC News. “The idea of setting up a trust to hold his operating businesses adds nothing to the equation. This is not a blind trust — it’s not even close.”

Moreover, The Real Deal reported in December that Trump personally owns several properties and guarantees their loans. Untangling himself from those contracts can’t be done with a simple resignation letter and would likely be a lengthy endeavor.

On Monday, ProPublica reported that Trump had yet to file paperwork indicating he would resign from his companies.  Also on Monday, a group of lawyers and constitutional scholars said they had sued Trump for continuing to accept payments from entities with ties to foreign governments.  [NBC]Konrad Putzier