Donald Trump’s long-awaited announcement on how he intends to separate his business conflicts from his presidential responsibilities has been postponed until January, though a late-night tweet hinted at at least one new detail.
On Monday night, Trump said his company would make “no new deals” during his time in office.
In a series of posts, Trump wrote: “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.”
In a third tweet, Trump affirmed that he intended to hold a fresh conference on his financial conflicts at a later date. He wrote: ”I will hold a press conference in the near future to discuss the business, Cabinet picks and all other topics of interest. Busy times!”
Trump has not formally taken questions from a group of reporters since 27 July.
The media conference regarding his real estate and intellectual property holdings was originally planned for 15 December and was announced by Trump on Twitter on 30 November.
Trump has long faced major ethical issues surrounding his holdings, which include a number of hotels and golf courses, as well as royalties from the NBC reality television show The Apprentice.
Although Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, has said in the past that the president-elect would put his assets into “a blind trust”, Cohen also insisted that Trump’s three oldest children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric, would administer the blind trust.
All three are on Trump’s transition team – and Ivanka, in particular, has played a hands-on role advising her father. She joined the president-elect in a meeting with Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, in mid-November and also participated in a phone call that Trump held with Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, less than a week after the election. The Trump Organization has long been involved in a development project in Buenos Aires.
The president-elect’s various holdings present a variety of possible conflicts of interest. Although federal ethics laws do not directly apply to the presidency, Trump risks a constitutional violation under the emoluments clause. That provision found in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the US constitution provides that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state”.
Trump’s foreign investments, as well as foreign governments doing business at his hotel, could be considered a violation. The Washington Post reported in November that foreign diplomats were already planning on frequenting the president-elect’s Washington hotel in attempt to court favor with the new administration.
The media conference is not the first major one that the president-elect has postponed. In early August, Trump pledged that his wife, Melania Trump, would hold a conference to address questions about her immigration status that were raised during the campaign. That conference was never held.