Donald Trump Vows To Dissolve Charitable Organization To ‘Avoid Even The Appearance’ Of Possible Ethical Conflicts

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President-elect Donald Trump announced on Christmas Eve that he would dissolve his charitable organization the Donald J. Trump Foundation amid growing concerns and criticism that the organization poses a potential conflict of interest with his presidency.

“The Foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children,” Trump said in the statement quoted by the Washington Post. “However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as President I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways.”

The Post noted that Trump gave no timeline for dissolving the foundation.

According to Us Weekly, Trump’s lawyers are already working on shuddering the nonprofit, but that will not be so easy just yet.

“The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete,” Us Weekly quoted New York Attorney General spokesperson Amy Spitalnick as saying.

The Washington Post has repeatedly reported on the Trump Foundation’s questionable practices, including instances where it appears that Donald Trump “used the charity’s money to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses.”

In October, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered the foundation to “immediately cease soliciting contributions,” Us Weekly reported. The foundation has collected tens of millions of dollars over the past decade, though Trump himself has not contributed to it since 2008.

The Trump Foundation received most of its contributions from individuals. Vince and Linda McMahon, the power couple who built World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. into the household name that it has become, have been among the charity’s biggest donors. The Post stated that they donated $5 million to the Trump Foundation between 2007 and 2009. This has not gone unnoticed by critics since Trump named Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration.

Despite all the controversy and investigations, Trump remains steadfast in his claims that the Trump Foundation has always operated completely above the board.

“I am very proud of the money that has been raised for many organizations in need, and I am also very proud of the fact that the Foundation has operated at essentially no cost for decades, with 100% of the money going to charity, but because I will be devoting so much time and energy to the Presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world, I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest,” Trump added in his statement.

Vowing to dissolve the Trump Foundation is not the only step Trump has taken towards avoiding potential conflicts of interest in recent days. The charitable activities of his family in general are being affected by the president-elect’s efforts to avoid possible ethical questions. Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump is supposedly also severing ties with charitable foundations he works with.

“My wonderful son, Eric, will no longer be allowed to raise money for children with cancer because of a possible conflict of interest with my presidency,” Trump said in a tweet posted on Friday. “Isn’t this a ridiculous shame? He loves these kids, has raised millions of dollars for them, and now must stop. Wrong answer!”

Trump previously came under fire for letting his wife and children sit in on high level meetings with his transition team and foreign leaders, leading some to speculate that his family would act as proxies in potential business dealings that could lead to a conflict of interest.

Vowing to dissolve the Trump Foundation may quell some of the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s transition so far, but it’s still a far cry from satisfying his pledge to “drain the swamp” that his supporters feel Washington has become. Trump campaigned on a promise to clean up the cronyism and corruption that many believe has plagued American politics for decades, but he has been filling his cabinet with political and corporate insiders.

Dissolving his charitable foundation is probably a step in the right direction, but we’ll see how far it goes.

[Featured image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]