Trump Organization Says Billionaire’s Children to Run Firm

  • Donald Jr. Ivanka and Eric also serve on transition team
  • U.S. conflict-of-interest laws mostly don’t apply to president

Eric Trump gives thumbs-up to a supporter as he gets on the elevator at Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York, on Nov. 11, 2016 .

Photographer: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Three of President-elect Donald Trump’s children will run his Trump Organization during his time in office, the company said Friday.

“We are in the process of vetting various structures with the goal of the immediate transfer of management of The Trump Organization and its portfolio of businesses to Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump along with a team of highly skilled executives,” the New York-based company said in an e-mailed statement. “This is a top priority at the Organization and the structure that is ultimately selected will comply with all applicable rules and regulations.”

The Trump children also serve on the presidential transition team. The billionaire’s sprawling businesses, spanning several countries, present unprecedented potential conflicts of interest for a U.S. president.

No laws exist that require Trump to distance himself from his commercial and residential real estate businesses, including hotels, golf courses and international licensing deals. While he will be required to continue to file asset disclosures, presidents are otherwise mostly exempt from the 1978 Ethics in Government Act -- an exception derived from the belief that such rules could keep commanders-in-chief from making tough decisions.

While Trump had previously said he would place his business in a blind trust run by his children, he acknowledged in a January debate that his suggestion wouldn’t necessarily constitute a true blind trust.

To make a blind trust, Trump would need to liquidate all his assets and then appoint an independent trustee to oversee them, a process made virtually impossible by the nature of his businesses, according to Norm Eisen, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who previously served as the Obama administration’s ethics czar. Putting Trump’s children in charge may not create a clear enough barrier between the presidency and business, he said this week.

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