The Wall Street Journal editorial page says President-elect Donald Trump should liquidate his stake in the family business.
“One reason 60 million voters elected Donald Trump is because he promised to change Washington’s culture of self-dealing, and if he wants to succeed he’s going to have to make a sacrifice and lead by example,” the paper said in an editorial Friday.
The president is exempt from most conflict of interest laws. But the leading conservative newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, said Trump’s business dealings will present a political problem because of “constant media scrutiny.”
The Journal referenced the effort by Ivanka Trump’s jewelry company to promote a $10,800 bracelet that she wore during an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The editorial characterized it as the beginning of “media catcalls.”
With stakes in more than 500 companies around the world, Trump has more potential conflicts of interest than anyone ever elected president. He has said that he will turn the businesses over to his children, who have also been political advisers to him.
“If Mr. Trump doesn’t liquidate, he will be accused of a pecuniary motive any time he takes a policy position,” the Journal said. “Mixing money and politics could undermine his pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ In Washington.”
The Journal said that Trump should put the cash proceeds from the liquidation in a blind trust, put the assets in his children’s name, and cut off communication with his children on business matters.
Trump’s transition team did not immediately return a message from CNNMoney.