As surely everyone in the developed world knows at this point, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States in an upset on Tuesday, leading to a series of protests (and riots) in retaliation. Now that Trump is imminently headed toward Pennsylvanian Avenue, some are questioning how he will handle his business.
Currently, there is no formal legislation dictating how the president’s previous business interests are handled upon inauguration. Some elects choose to continue to play an active role in their outside ventures while in office, such as Barack Obama and his book royalties and LBJ with his broadcasting corporations. Others choose to relinquish their assets to a blind trust, or an individual/firm that takes responsibility for executive actions of the enterprises for the duration of tenure. When control is given to a blind trust, the owner who surrendered power of has no knowledge or say of the actions taken.
It seems that Donald Trump has taken the latter of these two options; Trump Inc. will be handed to his children Don, Ivanka, and Eric. This seems to be a smart idea on the president-to-be’s part, for many have noted that maintaining control would lead to serious conflicts of interest, and his ability to separate himself from the business that he treasures so much helps to solidify the narrative that he is all in for the presidency. Some, however, are still dissatisfied with the measures being taken, claiming that there are not nearly enough degrees of separation between him and trustees (as they’re his children) and that some of his properties (namely his luxury D.C. Hotel) lease from the government, making him the head of both sides of the transaction.
From a rhetorical standpoint, Trump’s soft attempt at separation supports the liberal narrative that he is in office for selfish gain and could drive the preexisting gap between the parties further apart (which is hard to imagine), but also manages to support the conservative claim that he is willing to part with his business in order to focus on the presidency. The fact of the matter is, however, that nothing illegal occurs even if Trump plays a hand in his business while in office. Trump hasn’t had any problems with upsetting the liberal population even during the candidacy, and now that he’s elected, I doubt he will start.
On a side note: wow what a roller coaster of an election, right?