On Saturday, Donald Trump announced that he will dissolve the Donald J. Trump Foundation in order to provide transparency when he enters the White House. However, the New York Attorney General’s office argues that he can’t close up shop while the foundation (which Trump hasn’t personally donated to in years and may have been a source of self-dealing during the election) is being investigated.
Many wondered if Trump would scale back his financial dealings to prevent conflict of interests while in office, but so far, there hasn’t been progress. The president-elect had originally scheduled a mid-December press conference where he would offer an in-depth plan, but the event was scrapped. CNN reports that he’ll address the issues next month, but who knows whether that will happen. Trump now says he means business, and he admits that it’s time to shut down the foundation:
“The foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children. I will be devoting so much time and energy to the presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world. I don’t want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest.”
But Trump can’t shut down the foundation yet, not while the New York AG is investigating the foundation based on reports of sketchy activity. Additionally, Democrats are using this as an opportunity to call out the president-elect, as Democratic National Committee spokesman Eric Walker criticized him for the decision:
“Shuttering a charity is no substitute for divesting from his for-profit business and putting the assets in a blind trust — the only way to guarantee separation between the Trump administration and the Trump business.”
Trump’s business dealings came under immense scrutiny prior to the election, and it didn’t seem to matter. So, his sudden decision to close his foundation is peculiar. Just recently, he said it was wrong that Eric Trump had to stop soliciting funds for his own foundation:
But Trump has been known to change his mind, so maybe this is nothing new.