Donald Trump raises prospect of keeping ties to his firms

Bloomberg News

President-elect Donald Trump speaks as his sons Eric Trump, right, Donald Trump Jr., left, and his daughter Ivanka Trump listen during the grand opening ceremony of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 26, 2016.

Donald Trump indicated Tuesday he was unlikely to disentangle himself from his business empire as fully as he previously suggested, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest while president.

Trump and his representatives said during the campaign he would have nothing to do with his businesses if he became president, promising a “total and complete separation.”

But since the election, Trump has met with foreign business partners and involved daughter Ivanka Trump in such discussions, even though he has said his children will run his companies during the presidency as a way to separate their operations from the White House.

On Tuesday, Trump told the New York Times that “the law’s totally on my side” and that “the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”

Trump’s comments came after the Republican contended with other concerns overhanging his transition. Trump University disclosed a $25 million settlement Friday to resolve litigation involving allegations of fraud at the defunct organization. And Trump’s charitable foundation said in a tax filing that it had engaged in self-dealing in 2015 and prior years that resulted from payments to “disqualified persons,” or foundation insiders.

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