By Andy Sullivan, Emily Stephenson and Steve Holland | WASHINGTON
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would maintain ownership of his global business empire but hand off control to his two oldest sons while president, an arrangement that watchdogs said would not prevent conflicts of interest in the White House.
Trump told a news conference he would resign from all positions overseeing hotels, golf courses and hundreds of other businesses and move his assets into a trust to help ensure that he will not consciously take actions as president that would benefit him personally.
Trump, a Republican, is under pressure to distance himself from his businesses before he moves into the White House on Jan. 20. Unlike other U.S. government officials, the president is not required by law to steer clear of conflicts of interest.
"I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I donít like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to," Trump said.
Ethics experts said the arrangement did not go far enough.
President-elect Donald Trump will relinquish leadership of the Trump Organization to his adult sons and create a trust for his assets, but it will not be the blind trust that his critics and many ethics experts insist is necessary to eliminate concerns about conflicts of interest.
Trump attorney Sheri A. Dillon said that Trump "should not be expected to destroy the company he built."
Trumpís attorneys counter that a blind trust, in which Trump's assets would be managed by independent trustees, is not realistic.
In addition, Trump will donate any profits from foreign governments, such as payments for staying at his hotels, to the Treasury Department to address arguments that he would violate the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.