What Trump Has Said About His Business Plans

Comes as he says his sons will take over the business.

ByMEGHAN KENEALLY
December 13, 2016, 3:16 PM

— -- The decision to postpone the scheduled announcement on how Donald Trump plans to separate himself from his business empire is the latest in a series of statements he has made about his plans.

The talk of how Trump will remove himself -- or whether he even will -- from his eponymous brand started during the campaign and has carried through the transition.

Here is a rundown of the clearest comments the president-elect has made about how he will move from the business world to the political sphere:

Jan. 14: Trump says kids will run it but may not be a blind trust

In a Republican primary debate, he said he would put his business in a blind trust.

"I would put it in a blind trust. Well, I don't know if it's a blind trust if Ivanka, Don and Eric run it," Trump said at the debate. "If that's a blind trust, I don't know. But I would probably have my children run it with my executives, and I wouldn't ever be involved because I wouldn't care about anything but our country, anything."

If his children take charge of the business, they may communicate with him about dealings, which could influence policy or vice versa, and if there is any communication or influence, the trust is not blind.

PHOTO: Donald Trump Jr. exits elevators at Trump Tower, Dec. 6, 2016, in New York.
Donald Trump Jr. exits elevators at Trump Tower, Dec. 6, 2016, in New York.
Eduardo Munoz/AFP/Getty Images

Sept. 16: Don Jr. defends kids' involvement

When Don. Jr. was asked on "Good Morning America" in September about the potential conflict of interest that comes from his father having relatives run his company, he appeared unmoved.

"A blind trust is not a blind trust if it's being run by his children," ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos told Don. Jr.

"It is because he'll have nothing to do with it, George. He said that," he responded.

Nov. 22: Trump says the law is on his side

In an interview with The New York Times after the election, Trump said, "The law is totally on my side, meaning the president can't have a conflict of interest. ... Despite that, I don’t want there to be a conflict of interest anyway."

His assessment of the law is not entirely wrong. The president is exempt from prosecution under certain federal statutes that bar conflicts of interest, but laws against bribery, nepotism and using public office for personal financial gain still apply.

PHOTO: Eric Trump gets into an elevator as he arrives at Trump Tower, Dec. 13, 2016, in New York.
Eric Trump gets into an elevator as he arrives at Trump Tower, Dec. 13, 2016, in New York.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nov. 30: Trump tweets about being taken out "completely"

In a series of tweets on Nov. 30, Trump said that "legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations."

"I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country," he wrote in one of the tweets.

"While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses," he continued.

Trump wrote that he will be "holding a major news conference ... with my children" to discuss the plans in mid-December.

PHOTO: Ivanka Trump(C) waves from the elevator as former US Vice President Al Gore(L) leaves meetings at Trump Tower in New York City, Dec. 5, 2016.
Ivanka Trump(C) waves from the elevator as former US Vice President Al Gore(L) leaves meetings at Trump Tower in New York City, Dec. 5, 2016.
Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Dec. 11: Trump says he'd "love" to have Ivanka involved in politics

When asked during a Fox News interview about his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner's potential involvement in his administration, Trump said "we're working that out right now" and his team is looking at the prospect" from a legal standpoint."

Trump mentioned Ivanka's work on women's issues and childcare and said that he'd "love to have Jared helping us on deals with other nations and see if we can do peace in the Middle East and other things."

Kushner, who practices Orthodox Judaism, was involved in helping draft his father-in-law's speech to a major pro-Israel group during the campaign and defended Trump against allegations of anti-Semitism.

Kushner was also one of the few family members who accompanied Trump to the White House in the days immediately following the election.

Dec. 12: Postpones business news conference

A senior transition official confirmed to ABC news that Trump's previously planned announcement about how he would be separating himself from his business empire has been postponed until January.

Trump confirmed as much in tweets later Monday night.

"Even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my [businesses] before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the Presidency. Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office," Trump wrote in two tweets that were posted late Monday night.

He also tweeted saying that the press conference would be held "in the near future" and would "discuss the business, Cabinet picks and all other topics of interest. Busy times!"

Dec. 13: Milestone silence

Today marks the 35th day since the election, during which time President-elect Trump has not held a formal press conference.

By contrast, the last five presidents had a press conference less than 10 days after their respective elections.

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