While announcing key members of his economic team, Donald Trump said Wednesday that he and his children will hold a “major news conference” on Dec. 15 to discuss separation from his various business interests.
He plans to “discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump said during an early morning tweet storm.
Critics said his business interests run afoul of conflict of interest laws, but Trump said he is not “mandated” to dis-invest. “I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses,” he tweeted.
The New York real estate mogul did not provide details about how his new business arrangement might work, and whether his children might operate his empire moving forward. He tweeted that “legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!”
Trump made the announcement the same day he is expected to name key members of his economic team, tapping hedge fund manager and campaign aide Steve Mnuchin as secretary of the Treasury and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as secretary of Commerce.
In an interview with CNBC, Mnuchin said his priority is cutting taxes, particularly corporate taxes.
“By cutting corporate taxes, we’re going to create huge economic growth and we’ll have huge personal income,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin, 53, a former Goldman Sachs executive, worked this year as Trump’s national campaign finance chairman. In announcing his selection, Trump described Mnuchin as “a world-class financier, banker and businessman” who “has played a key role in developing our plan to build a dynamic, booming economy that will create millions of jobs.”
If confirmed by the Senate, the Treasury secretary nominee would shepherd economic plans that include a reduction in government regulations and stepped-up infrastructure projects. In a statement, Mnuchin said he looks forward to helping Trump “implement a bold economic agenda that creates good-paying jobs and defends the American worker.”
Ross, the nominee for Commerce secretary, co-authored an infrastructure plan that Trump aides are studying.
In announcing the appointment of Ross, Trump said the investor known for buying and re-organizing businesses is “a champion of American manufacturing and knows how to help companies succeed. Most importantly, he is one of the greatest negotiators I have ever met, and that comes from me, the author of The Art of the Deal.”
Trump also said that Ross “knows that cutting taxes for working families, reducing burdensome government regulations and unleashing America’s energy resources will strengthen our economy at a time when our country needs to see significant growth.”
In accepting the nomination, Ross said he and Mnuchin would work “to implement the economic programs which we have developed jointly to implement the President-elect’s strategy for accelerating our economic growth.”
Also discussing his appointment on CNBC, Ross said the Trump administration will pursue bi-lateral trade agreements with individual countries, as opposed to regional pacts like the now-stalled Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Trump also announce selection of a former critic to be deputy commerce secretary: Todd Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and member of a Republican political family that financed attack ads on Trump during the Republican primaries.
In announcing that appointment, Trump called Ricketts “an immensely successful businessman with unparalleled knowledge of the finance industry.”
SOURCE: David Jackson