Demos Responds to Trump’s Failed Attempt to Resolve Conflicts of Interest

Release Date: 
January 11, 2017

Demos Responds to Trump’s Failed Attempt to Resolve Conflicts of Interest

New York, NY – Adam Lioz, counsel and senior advisor for Demos, a New York-based think tank, released the following statement on President-elect Trump’s announcement related to the future of his business interests: 

“Donald J. Trump’s far-flung financial holdings and penchant for mixing official U.S. diplomacy with his private business affairs raise unprecedented concerns about divided loyalties, shaded judgment, foreign influence and profiteering off of American power—concerns that threaten both the integrity of our Republic and our global leadership. 

“Trump’s feeble announcement today fails to address these serious conflicts. Moreover, this announcement has done nothing to erase the constitutional violation that Trump will create the moment he takes the oath of office.

“By leaving his children to manage the business, Mr. Trump is merely obscuring the conflicts that he is claiming to avoid. His continued stakes in his many businesses with far-flung operations across the globe put Mr. Trump on a crash course with the U.S. Constitution. 

“The only true solution is for Trump to sell his company outside his family to create clear separation between his decisions as president and his financial bottom line. As long as he owns and his children manage the Trump Organization, Trump will continue to have a vested interest in the success of his businesses —giving him mixed incentives when his only concern should be what’s best for the American people. Perhaps more concerning, foreign leaders and American businesses are expected to seek to engage with the Trump Organization to gain favor and influence presidential decisions, something we’ve already begun to see take place.

“We urge Trump to change his mind, as he’s done time and time again, and uphold the Constitution instead of immediately violating it.  Demos strongly supports the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017, introduced this week by Senator Warren and 23 co-sponsors, which requires the President, Vice President, and their families to divest assets and place proceeds in a true blind trust; clarifies that conflicts of interest and ethics violations are impeachable offenses; and requires direct recusal of appointees from matters involving the financial interests of the President.”

About Demos

Demos is a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. For more information about Demos visit www.demos.org.

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Contact: Kate Berner, kberner@skdknick.com