Trump won't pledge to divest from businesses if he wins second term

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media at a Washington resort, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, after attending a listening to earlier than the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the federal courthouse in Washington.

Susan Walsh | AP

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday signaled that he plans to retain his stake in his business empire if he is elected to a second term in November. He additionally defended the hundreds of thousands of {dollars} his accommodations and properties made from international governments whereas he was president.

“If I’ve a resort and any person is available in from China, that is a small sum of money,” Trump stated at a city corridor occasion broadcast on Fox News. “I used to be doing providers for that. People had been staying in these huge accommodations, these lovely accommodations, and so they stayed there and so they paid. I do not get $8 million for doing nothing,” he added.

The feedback had been a part of Trump’s response to a direct query about whether or not he would pledge to divest himself from his privately owned actual property and resort firm if he gained a second term.

The query additionally talked about a current report from House Democrats, which discovered that Trump’s businesses had been paid practically $8 million from 20 international governments — together with China and Saudi Arabia — throughout his first two years in workplace.

Instead of instantly answering whether or not or not he would divest, Trump claimed that America’s first president, George Washington, set a precedent for operating his personal enterprise whereas additionally serving as president.

Washington — “a really wealthy man, folks do not know that” — had a “enterprise desk and he had a rustic desk, proper subsequent to one another,” Trump claimed.

Trump has made related claims up to now about George Washington. Politifact in 2019 discovered that there have been “conflicting interpretations” of Washington’s enterprise actions in workplace.

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Trump’s feedback Wednesday night time in Des Moines, simply 5 days earlier than the Iowa caucuses, counsel he would as soon as once more shrug off considerations about conflicts of curiosity or the potential for corruption if he replaces President Joe Biden because the nation’s most distinguished public servant.

Ethics consultants and authorities officers in 2017 blasted then-newly elected Trump for not divesting from his eponymous actual property and resort firm. The selection broke with a practice adopted by all different fashionable presidents.

Wednesday’s city corridor started concurrently Trump’s high two remaining main rivals, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Amb. Nikki Haley, took the stage within the closing Republican presidential debate earlier than the primary elections of the cycle.

Trump has skipped all 5 of the Republican debates, and has tried to undercut the influence of every one by counterprogramming them with simultaneous marketing campaign or media appearances.

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