Vox: Trump is “definitely still involved” in his hotel business, a new report says
President Donald Trump’s isn’t as separate from his businesses as he would like the public to think. Throughout his campaign and through his first few months as president, Trump has said he would distance himself from his Trump Organization and hand it over to his sons in lieu of divesting entirely, as ethics experts say he should. They fear that otherwise he will use the presidency for his own personal gain or that his policies will be influenced by his business interests.
Ethics experts have argued that Trump should divest — sell off — his assets entirely and put their value into a blind trust, an investment portfolio of which he would have no knowledge or control.
“The president is now entering a world of public service,” Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, the government agency that oversees executive branch policies related to conflict of interest, said in a speech at the Brookings Institution at the start of the year. “He's going to be asking his own appointees to make sacrifices. He's going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in conflicts around the world. So no, I don't think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be the president of the United States of America.”
Shaub resigned in July to join the Campaign Legal Center, a group that works on campaign finance and ethics in government. “In working with the current administration, it has become clear to me that we need improvements to the existing ethics program,” he said in a press release at the time. It’s perhaps telling that Shaub felt he couldn’t reform the government from the inside.