NEW YORK — Donald Trump yesterday sought to head off criticism that his vast business empire poses an unprecedented conflict of interest for an incoming US president, even as he comes under attack for packing his cabinet with fellow billionaires.
In one of his trademark pre-dawn tweetstorms, the Manhattan real estate mogul promised that he will reveal a plan next month to put aside his "great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country."
The 70-year-old tycoon did not say who would take over his multi-billion-dollar global property and luxury branding interests, but said his children would be present at a December 15 news conference.
He has previously said his daughter Ivanka and sons Eric and Donald Jr. could take day-to-day charge, but it remained unclear what he would do with his personal stake.
"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 tweeted, seeking to get ahead of the burgeoning ethics controversy.
US law does not require Trump to give up his business portfolio, although the Constitution states no federal official can receive a gift or "emolument" from a foreign government.
Some previous presidents have placed their investments in a blind trust, but they were not required to do so and Trump has said since winning election in early November that his lawyers believe it unnecessary. — AFP