President Donald Trump said that when he took office that his children would handle all Trump business material while he ran the country. However, his son Eric Trump may have spilled the beans on how much of a role the president will still have in his company. The plan was for President Trump to make sure he runs the country while his kids take over the business in what is known as a “blind trust.” This means he would have nothing to do with the business and would know nothing of what is going on most of the time.
However, that is not exactly what is happening. His children, of course, are running the business, which means they can always talk with Trump on what is happening in the company whenever, and nothing can be done about it. Some find it as a conflict of interest, and those people may also be upset about the latest update regarding the situation. President Trump’s son Eric Trump admitted he would be keeping his father updated on the goings on in the Trump organization.
He would talk with him regarding profits, yet he admitted this after saying he wouldn’t. Trump took part in an interview with Forbes, released on Friday.
“There is kind of a clear separation of church and state that we maintain, and I am deadly serious about that exercise.”
He serves as a trustee of the Trump business along with his brother Donald Trump, Jr. Of course, Ivanka Trump also had a role in the company but it seems that she will be near her father more as she was just given an office at the White House and security clearance. Yet, she has not been given an official role in the administration. All of this means her brothers will be the ones mostly running things day-to-day at the Trump organization. Eric Trump continued his thoughts with Forbes.
“I do not talk about the government with him, and he does not talk about the business with us.”
This would be pretty much impossible, and most American citizens assumed this from day one. He then basically contradicted himself just a small bit later in the interview.
“Yeah, on the bottom line, profitability reports and stuff like that, but you know, that’s about it.”
Eric Trump went on to say that these reports to his father would come “probably quarterly.” This means that he would most likely have to discuss business material with President Trump simply because he would have no choice but to do so. When you talk to him about quarterly material, especially profits, he can obviously suggest things. However, the conflict of interest issue comes into play here.
With President Trump knowing about the profits of his company combined with quarterly numbers, he could, in theory, make laws that would allow him to help his own business succeed as president of the United States. It is unknown if he would do this or already has without anyone picking up on it, but if his son does do as he claims, then President Trump would certainly be toeing the conflict of interest line real hard.
Of course due to his role as president, Donald Trump his distanced himself from the day-to-day operations of the Trump business. However, he has not fully divested his holdings. A Trump Organization lawyer, Sheri Dillion, said in January that Trump’s “access to information” regarding his business would be “sharply limited.” Of course, if his son Eric Trump told him everything he needed to know, then access to that information is not needed; Eric is telling him in person.
Dillion even admitted that you can’t have a “totally blind trust with operating businesses.” She is ultimately right, at the end of the day the business owner will always find out what is going on in his or her own company. You could clearly see the commercial success, stock pricing, etc. Dillion claimed that “Trump can’t un-know he owns Trump Tower.” Of course, knowledge of the tower is much different compared to knowing quarterly profits.
As one would imagine, Democratic groups have slammed Eric Trump over his comments. Most said on day one that President Trump would never fully be removed from his business. Clearly, his children running the business was understandable in theory but in reality, everyone knew going in that Trump would never fully be out of the loop. One group, American Bridge, spoke out big time about Eric Trump’s comments. Their spokesman Brad Bainum claimed the following.
“Trump refused to sell off his business holdings, and now he’s breaking his ‘blind trust’ with ‘zero contact’ promises to start receiving regular updates on how effectively he’s getting rich while sticking it to the American people. The Trump family continues to violate public trust, shatter ethical norms, and brazenly sell out the American people to profit off of the presidency. The only person winning in Trump’s America is Trump, and he’s doing it at the country’s expense.”
It’ll be interesting to see if something more comes out of this. It seemed pretty obvious that Eric Trump was not supposed to tell anyone that he and his father would be discussing quarterly information as well as profits. He tried to back away from the claim before he even made it, yet still ended up admitting that this would, in fact, be the case. This could, in theory, hurt President Trump in the long run as many laws he passes will somehow be linked to the fact that people do not know if he is passing the bill for the American people or the Trump organization.
[Featured Image by Julie Jacobson/AP Images]